Traditions & Forbidden Rice

29 Wed, 2010 § Leave a comment

On Christmas day, one of the first items on the agenda was taking a family photo.  We had to document what a beautiful family we have before the little ones could even think in terms of getting messy.  This is becoming sort of a tradition — my mom is set on updating our photo often it seems — which I think is nice.

The second priority — ok, maybe it was farther down the list after food & exchanging gifts — was a “family activity” like decorating gingerbread houses.  That was a little more involved & wasteful than I wanted though.  I was set on these cookie trees by Nienke but could not find the right star cutters.  World Market was my best bet, but then Dave spotted a paint-your-own tea set.  I immediately agreed with his sentimental, “aw…look…for Daiqri.”

With my hands covered in Daiq’s mess paint, I didn’t get photos of the creativity in action — even with a professional photographer in the house!  [I should have bribed for his services.]  Sometimes a girl just gets caught up in having fun with her niece & let’s the blogger in her hibernate a moment.

Even with one spill incident, I think mom’s carpet survived for the most part; & it was fun to veer from the traditional for a few minutes Christmas day.  Plus with all the goodies around, it’s a good idea for me to keep my hands as busy as possible for as long as possible…but not too long.

Before we left for our holiday weekend, my hands were busy with something else: playing with my current spice obsession.  You will figure it out if you haven’t picked up on it already.

I spotted my stash of forbidden rice in the pantry [I wonder if I can find it in AZ] & wanted to try something a little different.  It’s a nice, sticky rice, & while it is not necessarily my favorite rice, it lends a dark, pretty purple to the plate for a fun change.

Forbidden Rice with Saffron

  • 2 T Earth Balance butter
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp cumin, ground
  • ½ tsp saffron, soaked in a little milk or cooking water from rice
  • sea salt to taste

Cook rice according to directions.

When the rice is about 20 minutes from being done, melt the butter in a small sauce pan or skillet.

Remove from heat & stir in the other spices.

Cover & allow to steep 15 – 20 minutes.

When rice is finished cooking, pour the butter mixture over the rice, cover & let sit ~10 minutes.

Fluff rice & stir to mix spices.

I love the complexity of saffron & usually keep the rest of the meal pretty simple.  This paired really nicely with diced butternut squash, carrots & cauliflower roasted in olive oil, salted & peppered [a little basil also goes well with saffron].

The orange & purple really popped when we added bright green edamame pods to the meal.  I figured out the best way to cook frozen ones, which I will share when we make them again.  For leftovers the next day, I sprinkled bee pollen over the rice & laid out a green mat to give you a sense of the pods.  Now I really want edamame again.


What fun, reoccurring or newly created, traditions did you enjoy this season?

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