BY SUSANA LOURENÇO . PORTUGAL . EUROPE
Its Sunday morning, almost midday, and a gloomy cold atmosphere emanates from the kitchen. I slowly enter the room, making my feet slide in their fury cosy slippers across the glossy tiled floor, towards the old stove, upon which a beaten-up aluminium pot unleashes hot swirls of water vapour. A wooden spoon rests on the pot’s wide mouth while my mum is busy reaching for the cinnamon powder sachet. It’s time. My stomach aches for that last bit of creamy rice pudding that she always seems to forget inside the pot but I’m also eager to see her fingers do magic. She serves the sweet milky mixture into glass bowls and dessert plates. On a flat vessel she pours some of the cinnamon and pinching the powder between her thumb and forefinger she starts to draw over the rice, leaving trails of brown spice, forming chequered patterns and herringbone lookalikes. I ask her for the flowers, the ones made with tiny circles… She smiles. She picks a vintage liquor glass and dips its rim first in a shallow pool of water and secondly in the cinnamon powder. She then stamps the round marks on the pudding. That’s magic! Magicinnamon! That’s her kissing me with flowers while she’s cooking dessert!