Food Buzz

Because maybe you do care what I had for lunch...

Friday, February 17, 2006

Forbidden rice with lamb sausage, fennel bulb, and apples

Forbidden rice! It sounds so exotic and tantalizing. The first time I heard it called that I wondered if it was a illegal import, like that urban legendary (I think) really, truly sticky Thai rice. But then common sense caught up with my overdramatizing imagination and I realized it probably had to do with being special rice originally grown exclusively for the Chinese emperors.

I first encountered forbidden black rice at Kensington Market in Toronto, where I also bought some Egyptian spice that still sits in my cupboard. The rice really is black when dry and cooks into a deep purple. JaneAnne had mentioned cooking some recently so when I saw it at Kalustyan's I had to grab some.

Forbidden rice is non-glutinous, which means it's meant to be fluffy like long-grained rice, not gooey like short-grain rice such as aborio for risotto. I rinsed the rice well, which was fun because instead of the usual cloudy water I got what looked like grape juice. Then I brought the rice in almost twice the amount of water to a boil, covered, and cooked for 35 minutes. I let it stand for another 15 covered after cooking it. It tasted a lot like the red rice I cooked the other day, but softer, much softer.

I tossed the rice with some lamb sausage, fennel bulb, and apple I sauteed in a bit of chicken broth and sake. Then I grated a small amount of gruyere over the dish. It was tasty, but next time I use the rice (still have half a bag) I will have to come up with something more befitting its elegance, like vanilla scallops.

Some of you may be relieved to hear that I have finally hit a wall with Jasper. Lane has been working extra for two exhibitions in March and Jasper chose this week to boycott naptime two days in a row. This resulted in too much Jaspertime for me. Yes, the little boy I supposedly could not get enough of drove me to have a full glass of sake at 3:00 in the afternoon yesterday. We had a better day today since he napped for an hour. But I've been allowing myself to think that maybe, just maybe, I could do with a longer break every once in a while.

I'm not going to bore you with how horrible and conflicted I feel about this. Instead I'm jumping straight to the magical part where my neighbor tells me her part-time-ish nanny would be available a couple afternoons a week starting in early March. Could it be -- rescue in sight? I would have to pick up some freelance work in order to justify it, but even if I spent my alone time chasing commas it would be a mentally healthy change for both of us.

Even as I write this I feel as if I'm betraying Jasper, who will not like the idea even though he knows and likes the nanny. And I still want all of him to myself, every magical moment. There's a chance that it won't work out after all. Maybe it's just this crunch time with Lane working more that's driving me over the edge and when we got back to our regular routine I'll feel fine again. Either way, a happy mommy is a good mommy, right? There he is, my little guy. Is he ready for a little forced independence?


shaunamama said...

Uh-oh, here comes another rambling experience story from me.

My son was pretty good with taking naps, but there were days where he just wouldn't sleep. I let him know in no uncertain terms that naptime was still quiet time and that he was to lay down quietly until I said it was time to get up. Sometimes he'd fall asleep..sometimes he'd lay there and softly talk...sometimes he'd cry. (cringe)

At three years old he announced that he was "too old" for naps. He would occasionally take them but not like he did when he was half that age.

As for the separation was at three that I discovered that our son needed pre-school. He had such separation anxiety when I left him for any reason. My husband and I could barely have a date night. The pre-school I chose was only two days a week and for only two hours.

The day we bought his Spiderman backpack was the day that he said,"I'm big now. I'm going to school." I imagined his first day as a crying tirade but was disappointed. He kissed me, turned around at the door and said,"It's ok, Mommy..I'm big, remember? I know what to do" and waved goodbye.

Good luck with your decision, Mama. It's a tough one.

Co said...

It's actually nice for me to read that you're conflicted about it. Not everyone is, sadly.