I have definitely lost my mind. Well. Maybe it’s not THAT bad. I’m probably dramafying this more because “woe is me, I need your attention”. Did I get it? Never mind. I’ll get you next time. I signed up for another run.
Huh? What? I didn’t say anything. The run? Oh that. I thought you weren’t paying attention. You see I have this thing where I like doing things that I’m not quite sure I can even do (Like this). Part of me feels heroic when I do but the other part wants to turn around and march right back home. Not surprisingly, the first part always triumphs. But still, I can’t. stop. feeling. like. I’m. nuts.
Crazy. Bonkers. Yes, I signed up for another 5K race. As if the 10K that’s two weeks from now wasn’t enough to stress me out. I felt I needed a mini challenge before the big challenge. A little boost of confidence and maybe a clear sign that my body is not going to fail on me. Refer to previous paragraph if you skimmed through and have no idea what I’m going on about (which is probably all the time, right?). Of course, there was the minor detail of a free drink? Margarita, or something of the sorts, for every runner and also – tacos.
Wouldn’t you have done it? “Sure, Edlyn. Of course I would!” I feel better. I do love motivating words and the people in my life are also accomplice to this insanity. I have a friend, whom I used to work with in Bombay. She’s teeny-tiny and smart enough to intimidate me. People who read a lot do that to me (how could they not?!). We’d sometimes ate lunch together at our desks and she would always make me take more of the dal khichdi. I didn’t mind except that she never ate much at all! I would never share my food with someone if I knew they were big eaters. She made me the big eater. She also ran a marathon.
A marathon. I feel like typing it might make it seem more real but it never works. Motivation #1: And this is in no way comparing a measly 5K to a MARATHON (never ever works) but if she can do it, I can. Not the marathon, the 5 and 10 kilometer race-a-thon. The slightly awkward cousin called the lame-a-thon. I should give myself more credit. I run because I enjoy it and that’s motivation #2. Right now I feel incapable and a bit of a show-off. I guarantee you I’m not either.
Motivation #3 and the final motivation (or so I think) of the day: It’s May. That’s right. The big fat May. My favourite month of the year and yours two. Stop arguing. If I can do something entirely spontaneous and slightly deliberate, I can do it in May. I can do it ALL in May. If last year’s trip to Bangkok and the previous years trip to Kashmir was any indication, I got this. May is always going to be reckless, rambunctious and pretty darn amazing. In another 2 days, I’ll have run my first 5K with a hoard of other free margarita lovers. After that, my first 10K. After that, I’ll be content.
I’ll be sort of short of sanity and breath but damn I’ll be happy.
First of all, I have no idea why there are chocolate chips in this picture. I must’ve been snacking but HEY it’s a great strategy while photographing food. Second of all, I love rice paper. It does take some getting used to because it’s so sticky and flimsy but it’s such great fodder for imaginative cooking. The possibilities of what to wrap are endless like my love for you.
- 4 sheets of rice paper or tapioca starch paper (the kind I bought was circular in shape)
- 3/4 cup dates, chopped
- 3/4 cup overcooked brown rice
- 1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
- 2 tsp honey
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Start by cooking the brown rice like you usually do (or how it says to on the bag). If you don’t buy it in a bag, I’ll help you out here. Cooking brown rice is the same as cooking white rice except that brown rice takes longer to cook. Take 1/2 cup of brown rice and to it add 1 cup of water. Put it on medium high heat until it simmers. As soon as this happens, turn down the heat and cover the pot. It should take 15-20 minutes for all the water to evaporate. Don’t continuously open the lid to check because you don’t want the steam to escape. Just check once at 15 minutes and if the water looks like it’s almost gone, add more to cover about 1/2 of the now cooked rice. This will make the grains more glutinous and perfect for your recipe. Take the rice off the heat and let it cool.
While the rice is cooking, chop up the dates (vertically in the middle and then 3 or 4 times horizontally) and roughly run a knife across the walnuts. Put the dates in a bowl and mix it with cinnamon powder. Add the date into the food processor along with the rice, walnuts, honey and vanilla extract. On the low setting, let the ingredients come together in a sticky mess. You don’t want it to turn into a puree so let the processor run for about 10 seconds each time before you decide on the perfect crunchy/sticky consistency. This should take not more than 30 seconds. Put this mixture in a bowl and set aside.
Fill warm water into a shallow basin or even a deep skillet that has a 2-3-inch wider circumference than the rice paper. Keep a clean and moist tea towel ready on the side of the water container. Immerse the rice paper into the water for about 3-4 seconds till it turns soft. As soon as its state changes, gently lift it out of the water and place it on the moist tea towel. Leave it be for about a minute or until the towel soaks up the excess water and makes it easy to roll. You might get a bit annoyed with the rice paper at first but it works out, I promise. Just take a few tries to get comfortable with it.
Once the rice paper is dry enough, add about 7 tsp of the date and brown rice filling along one edge of the circle (the edge you will be rolling from). Try not to overfill it or the paper might tear. Lift the edge and fold it over the filling, making it fit snugly. Fold the adjacent (if I can call it that) left and right side of the rice paper inwards, so as to close the the open ends of the roll (refer to the fourth picture). Now you can keep rolling like you first did until you reach the other end of the circle. Repeat until you’ve run out of the filling. You can cut the rolls in half or eat them whole. If you’re not going to eat this on the same day, store it in the fridge for a day with a moist tea towel covering it.
PS: If you have the luxury of coconut in your backyard (which I did until I chose to be poor), you can add grated and toasted coconut to the filling too.
PPS: The run is on Saturday and I love the colour blue.
PPPS: There might not be a Sunday post (MIGHT) but it all depends on how much my knees like me.
*Goa people you get rice paper at Magsons. American residents, you can check the Asian section of your grocery shops.