Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Things I Don't Know How To Do, Pt. One


I don't know how to make rice. 
There. I said it.
I mean, I get the basic concept of it I guess, but I fail at it almost every time.
This is a running joke with my friends, none of which actually know how to cook, but all of which can still cook rice. 
I am the friend who cooks well.
I am the friend who always has a good recipe for something.
I am the friend you want to know when your family goes to the Bahamas for Thanksgiving and you're looking at a bleak future of hoping the Jack in the Box drive through is open after 4 p.m. that day.

But I can't cook rice.

What the hell is wrong with me? It's irritating because this is the one food that every stoned college kid knows how to make. And they even have like versions of it. Different ways to prepare it so as not to become bored with their 98 cent dinner, three weeks into not being able to afford anything else.

I am getting better at it, and I do believe in the old saying of 'if you can't do, teach.'

So today kids, I am going to teach you how to make rice.

Step one: measure out way less rice than you think you need. Estimating about two cups for three people? Yeah, half that. Rice expands like those little foam pills we used to put in bowls of water as kids, to watch them turn into dinosaurs and kittens and other useless pieces of foam that vaguely resembles animals. 
You will always have too much rice.

Step two: add twice as much water as you added rice. This seems simple, right? 1 cup rice = 2 cups water. 2 cups rice = 4 cups water. Yeah. It's simple until the night you've had four Appletini's and are standing at the sink talk/screaming to your best friend on the phone about how you ran into your asshole ex-boyfriend whilst measuring rice and water and suddenly you realize you've lost count. Did you just add one cup too much, or do you still have one cup to go? DAMN IT. Throw it all out and start over. 
After another Appletini of course.

Step three: find the lid that actually goes to the sauce pan you're using. This is bullshit. With pasta, if you can't find the right lid you can just throw a cookie sheet haphazardly over the top and the shit will still cook. Not so with rice, the smug, persnickety bastard. That shit needs to be practically air tight. Dig through the cabinets, get pissed when everything falls out, jumps out, breaks, becomes a jumbled mess or smashed your toes. Wonder why you decided to cook rice in the first place.

Step four: ponder the AUDACITY of rice to even require so much as TWO steps, let alone FOUR. Place the pot on the stove indignantly. Turn the burner up to whatever temperature it needs to be at to boil shit. My stove is possessed  so that number would be about 4. I've heard other stoves actually need to be on like 8, but whatever. Can't have everything.

Step five: remember that cooking rice is like baking. It's a science, not an art. You have to be exact with your measurements, your timing, your heat. Everything. Don't fuck this up by going to sit down and watch Duck Dynasty with another Appletini. Stand at the stove and watch the rice. You are now the rice's bitch, and don't ever forget that. Once it starts to boil, panic completely and try to decide how long you should let it boil for. The answer is not too long, but exactly long enough. If that shit boils over, you've lost moisture for the rice to absorb, resulting in hard rice. If you have to lift the lid to make the foam go down, you've lost heat. You're basically fucked.

Step six: at exactly the right moment, switch off the burner, but leave the pot there. It will keep simmering for a bit, and then being the greedy motherfucker that rice is, it will start to absorb the water and freakishly expand into way more rice than you're ever going to need. Leave the lid on. 
Under no circumstances should you follow your natural cooking instincts. It looks done? Well it's not. You feel like it's been enough time? Nope. Better let it sit there for another five million hours while you're children starve and you run out of Vodka.

Step seven: after you've spent you're entire life waiting on this shit, it will finally be done. Life the lid and taste a tiny bit from the BOTTOM of the pan. If it's soft and edible, the rest should be too. If it's hard and crunchy and tastes like shame and failure, give up, order Chinese food and ask for a rice cooker for Christmas.

I hope we all learned something here today.
And that is that rice is an asshole, and Appletini's are good.

The end. 

1 comment:

  1. Or you could just buy a rice pot. Then all you have to do is add the amount of rice you want to make then add water using the water line inside the pot as a guide (no more guessing!), put the lid on and flip the switch to cook (just remember to make sure it's plugged in) and wahla 20 minutes later you'll have the best, most perfectly cooked rice of your life! :)

    Here's the one I have. Best $20 bucks I've ever spent! http://tinyurl.com/ayboaqb