Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Rice recipe from The Sweater Curse

In this scene from The Sweater Curse Gwen (the protagonist) and Pathan (a friend) are in the kitchen.

The bag of rice felt too light. I made a mental note to buy more the next day as I put a half cup in a saucepan. "I hope you like vegetable and tofu stir fry with rice?"

"Yeah, I love stir fry. I'm a vegetarian. Although, rice? Not so much."

"Ah, but you don't know my secret." Peppers, zuccihini, mushrooms -- I collected the vegetables from the crisper.

"Secret?" she asked.

"Yeah, the secret to cooking rice is flavour. I add vegetarian soup stock, sesame seeds, and two tablespoons of butter." As I mentioned each ingredient I added it to the rice. "Trust me, you'll love it." I retrieved the paring knife from a drawer and lay it on the counter.

"Do you live here alone?" She picked up the knife and peeled, sliced, and diced, while I put water in the saucepan.

"No, with my boyfriend."

"Where you born and raised in BC?"

"No, in Manitoba." I set the rice on the stove to boil and handed her a small square casserole dish.

She tossed the vegetables into the container. "In Winnipeg?" Her question didn't surprise me. All most people knew about Manitoba was Winnipeg.

"No, ninety-two kilometres north, between Lake Winnipeg and Lake Manitoba."

"What's the name of the town?"

"Blond-ou-s." I pronounced the name slowly, aware it would sound odd to her. "It's Icelandic." The rice boiled, and I turned it down to simmer.

"Are you Icelandic?"

"Icelandic and Scottish-Canadian. My great-grandparents on both sides were born in Canada." I poured a small amount of water over the vegetables, popped the microwave door open, and placed the vegetables inside.

"I've never meet an Icelandic-Canadian before," she said.

"Well, congratulations, you've met your first. Your life will never be the same.: I set a frying pan on the stove, added butter, and carefully arranged the cubed tofu.

"Really?" she asked. "I hope so. How big is Blond-house?"

"It's tiny, maybe a thousand people." I guessed at her next comment.

"You must know everyone." Yeah, I guessed right.

"Almost." I was suddenly aware I'd told her my entire life story. "What about you? Where are you from?"

"Here," she said. "Well, Surrey, actually. BC born and raised."

"There are some really nice parks in Surrey." The microwave timer sounded. I flipped the tofu -- it was a nice golden brown -- and added the vegetables.

"Parks? Yeah, maybe, but not where I lived."

"You have family close by?"

"What? Now?" she asked.

I nodded.

"I hope not."

The rice timer buzzed. "It's ready." I set the table, we sat and ate.

"This is good." Her mouth was full of food. I'd have to teach her better table manners.

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Next post: Touring the Mayne Island Farmers' Market

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