Monday, 29 June 2009

the art of rice

I have a confession... I cannot, despite my best efforts and hours of research, make a proper pot of rice.  I feel that this confession may strain my relationship with my asian elders, however it's sadly true and at this point, I need to reach out to you, dear reader.  

How do you cook rice?  And I mean, in a pot with boiling water, not a rice cooker... 

My mother makes a perfect pot of rice with each and every dinner, it's never burnt, mushy, watery or hard.  And the crazy thing is that she eyeballs the amount of water needed to go in!  No measuring cups, no fancy instruments, just a natural sense of the water to rice ratio. 

The other day, after being frustrated with my watery and mushy rice, I turned to my trusty friend - Google - for answers. 

Other than numerous suggestions to buy a rice cooker, I came across one post that outlined the "Index Finger Rule to Cooking Rice" 

Here's how it works, wash the rice as usual and drain out the murky water without dumping the whole pot of rice into the sink (I've done that before...) 

Next, rest the tip of your index finger on the surface of the rice, and fill up the pot with water until it reaches the first joint of that finger.  

That's it!  I have yet to try out this technique, but it seems relatively simple and idiot-proof.  

Friday, 26 June 2009

keeping up with the brits' version of thursday night drinks...

This thursday, I was staying at work a little later than usual when my team leader asked me if I wanted to join a few of them for after-work drinks.  Not having much else on my social calendar, I agreed and off we went a little while later to a nearby pub.  

In my mind, I was going to have one pint, then head home and cook whatever was on the menu of my weekly food planner.  Yes, I do realize that having a food planner is slightly geeky and neurotic, however, with food being as expensive as it is, I have to plan out my meals and groceries on an excel spreadsheet so that I don't end up buying a bunch of crap and throwing it out when it rots in my fridge.  I'm not at the level of cooking where I can just look in my fridge and pantry and throw together a meal.  Combine that with the fact that my fridge and pantry are in a very sad stage of emptiness... 

But I digress... back to thursday night...5 drinks and a handful of nachos for dinner later, I'm noticeably slurring my words and stumbling a bit to the bathroom.  My colleagues on the other hand seem fresh and completely sober... 

I'm happy to report that I did not puke on my team leader, nor did I reveal anything too embarrassing about myself (to my knowledge)... and it might just be me, but all of the sudden, my co-workers seem friendlier.  Could it be that beer brings people together?  

Next week's food planner will include bringing a large(r) lunch on Thursday, as well as many snacks, as a precaution against another night of debauchery.  One can never be too prepared for these things - wish me luck... 

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Blog Post #1... (for lack of a better title)

My decision last year to leave my banking job and return back to school was made with much trepidation.  While I was unhappy with where my life was heading at HSBC, I was hesitant to leave the security of a full-time job for unemployment and student life.  Making big decisions has always been hard for me.  I'm the type of person who can spend upwards to 20 minutes in the shampoo aisle of Shoppers trying to decide between Dove or Pantene Pro V.  One might be on sale, but the other donates a proceeds of its sale to a self-esteem fund!  

In the end, I made the leap from lowly banker to a Humber PR student.  Fast forward 10 months and here I in London, UK, working at a travel PR company and learning how to cross the streets of London without getting hit by a car driving on the "wrong" side of the road.  

I really have no direction or theme for this blog.  Mostly I plan to write updates on life here, little tidbits/events/happenings that have caught my attention and want to share.  Knowing me though, much of this blog will focus on my love of food.   For example, the food here really is as horrendous as people have warned me.  However if you're willing to part with your cash, sushi in the food hall of Harrods is surprisingly good.  (My advice, skip out on the green'll set you back about $5). 

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