Sticky Rice Success – Landscape Fail
For those who don’t know already. I grew up in a small town located in rural Iowa. With a population of somewhere near eight thousand people, you can probably imagine that it wasn’t a destination for people looking to explore the cuisines from around the world. Don’t get me wrong – you will never have homemade chicken noodle soup, strawberry rhubarb pie, corn on the cob, or a thanksgiving spread that will beat the folks in Iowa, but they got their first Chinese restaurant a couple years ago (a year or two after finally getting a walmart).
Since moving to the Nashville area, I’ve come to really enjoying food exploration. One treat that isn’t too far out there on the boundaries of normalcy is sticky rice. You can find it at any good Thia restaurant. It’s called sticky rice because… well, it’s sticky. You eat it with your hands by pulling some out of the container, rolling it into a ball, and popping it into your mouth. (maybe stopping by some soy sauce along the way) Since I always enjoy eating it, I decided it was time to figure out how to make it at home. It’s rice, how hard can it be? As it turns out, fortunately it isn’t very hard at all, just a little time consuming. The two primary differences between sticky rice and ‘normal’ rice is that you steam it instead of boiling it and it is a separate and unique product entirely from rice you’re likely to find at your local grocery store. Stop by an international market and look for Thai Sweet Rice, Thai Sticky Rice, or Thai Glutenous Rice. It apparently has many labels, but they all contain the same delicious little rice grains.
When you prepare it, you have to soak it in water for about 8 hours first. Throw it in a bowl of water before leaving for work and you’re good to go.
I don’t have a fancy rice steamer yet, so I just used my strainer lined with flour sack material – cheesecloth would work fine too. I placed the strainer on top of a pan of about 2 inches of water (not touching the strainer) then covered the whole mess with aluminum foil to trap the steam. About 15 minutes later, I pulled it off of the heat, emptied it into a bowl to let some of the steam evaporate and to allow the rice to cool slightly.
If you’re really cool, you’ll serve it in one of these ultra amazing bamboo sticky rice holder type things.
Here’s mine right before Breanna and I devoured it. It’s a lot more filling than you might think though so don’t get too carried away with quantities. Fortunately for me, my 3 boxers are rice-a-holics too. I’m pretty sure somewhere along the line a chinese crested found it’s way into their lineage without the AKC finding out. (i know – chinese is not the same as Thai, but I don’t know of any Thai dogs)
Also… Today, the heat index was 111 degrees. The actual temp was around 95. Being the brilliant man that I am, I decided to landscape my front yard today. ~not a good idea~ I think I literally drank about 2 gallons of water during the 6 or 7 hours that I was outside working. About 2 hours in, I realized what a horrible lapse of judgment it was, but I was past the point of no return. I started off with my tank top on thinking that I’d get a little bit of sun in the process. After 2 hours, I was completely drenched with sweat and decided to take it off. A lady driving by nearly ran off the road. I’d like to think it was because she couldn’t take her eyes off of my manly physique, but in reality I think the reflection off of my pale back may have temporarily blinded her. Unfortunately, since I haven’t gotten much sun this year, after about 5 hours I realized a little too late that I had made the transition from slightly tan to tenderly pink and moving quickly towards red. I ran inside and put a t-shirt on in an attempt to stop any further damage. I now have three different tan lines, each with it’s own level of sensitivity.
At first, I was drinking Crystal Light – fruit punch. After drinking about 5 of the 32oz cups full, I realized that I hadn’t used the bathroom even once. (nothing shy of a miracle for my bladder) Seeing as how the crystal light would easily give cherry kool-aid a run for it’s money when it comes to food coloring content, I’m pretty sure my sweat turned pink. (even less manly than my tanless body)
Needless to say, lifting my fingers to type on the keyboard seems like more work than digging ditches at the moment, so I’m signing out for the evening. Peace and love – God bless.