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As we are reaching July, and the bean plants were getting leggy, I decided on planting them out.
I would have done this an eternity ago, had it not been for the fact that nights drop to single-digit temperatures, even now. So it is a mixture of hope and luck going into this.
See the pot (actually a washing tub) at the top of the picture? That is perhaps the world's smallest rice paddy. I have only planted 12 seeds as it is late in the year and the rice will take 3-5 months to be ready (depending on where you look). The rice itself is Oryza sativa, a variety called "Koshihikara. I could buy the real thing, but I think it is more interesting to attempt to grow it.
You see, I grew up with Uncle Ben's. It was exactly as described on the box - a plump white long grain rice that never stuck, no matter what god-awful microwave treatment I gave it.
However, this, Shinode rice... a Japanese-style rice (actually grown in Italy) that is gummy, gloopy, sticky, and takes twice as long to cook. On the face of it, the only thing in its favour is the stickiness makes it easier to eat using chopsticks.
But then you get to the taste. If I was younger and stupider, you might have been able to call Shinode a totally different thing. Like there's wheat and barley, there's rice and shinode. They really are that different. The traditional white rice I am used to seems somehow... insipid. Lacking. I can't compare because they just don't compare.
Mick will be visiting soon (about a week). I plan to present him with two rice bowls - one with Uncle Ben's and the other with Shinode, and see what he thinks.
As for my opinion, people use white rice to accompany. They put chili on it, use it to pad out risotto, mix honey into it, and so on. Rice on its own is usually a side helping to the main meal. Few people eat the rice on its own.
The Japanese, however, make something called Onigiri (rice ball) which is basically a lump of rice squeezed together. Animé girls eating white triangular things are eating onigiri. Why? Because this rice is so flavourful it can be a meal in itself. I have cooked up some, and eaten it. As-is, with nothing else. Taste like that, why ruin it with a sauce?
Speaking of which, at the time when I was ill, there were only two things I was able to keep in me (skip this if you have TMI issues). The Shinode rice, and Sweet Sakura Tea. I spent three days with nothing but that for my diet. I guess there's a lot to be said for purity and simplicity...
I like, on longest day, to watch the sun rise. It's only one day a year, but this year it was ruined by crappy weather.
So I waited until the morning weather was nicer - no clouds, and I felt so inclined. The difference being about 4 minutes. Anyway, here are the sunrise photos (taken with my phone).
Peeking over the horizon. This is the moment of actual sunrise:
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Last read at 11:40 on 2024/03/04.
© 2011 Rick Murray
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