Monday, December 28, 2009


How do you celebrate the holidays when you're bi-cultural family gets together? It's simple, really. You spend all day with your mother making grandma's traditional pork tamales and eat them for dinner. You spend the next day making pecan pies and pumpkin pies with your father's sister because that's how Nana would have wanted it. Then you ring in the glutton of gifts with buttered and sugared Norwegian lefse.

My stomach is used to this but yours may never be the same. I'm only happy to forgo the peeled grape shoving-into-your-mouth-in-the-sixty-seconds-between-11:59p-and-12midnight-to-prove-who-has-the-most-luck-this-year-and-who-will-go-forth-and-multiply-small-humans. That's right. I don't have New Year with the folks. Whew. Nearly lost that argument, but fortunately, the other siblings can take that great honor. Between you, me, and the Internet, it is a beautiful thing when your sibling fucks up so grandly that being the only unmarried woman of childbearing age in both the Hispanic and Scandi branch doesn't immediately make you the target of everyone's best intentions.

Again. Trust me on this.

But I'll share one new recipe with you. My aunt is allergic to peanuts so I subbed in roasted soy nuts. We also didn't hav red chili on the shelf, so I subbed in tex-mex chili powder and red pepper flakes. Otherwise, here is my most favored yellow rice recipe. Indian and not the woo woo American branch (sorry great granny SheArrow). I also hate raisins which is in this recipe, and my family uses craisins instead because they taste good.

2 tablespoons veggie oil
1 tablespoon mustard seed
1/2 C peanuts
1 tablespoon Turmeric
1/2 tablespoon red chili powder
2 C cooked rice
1/2 C craisins
salt and pepper to taste

In a pot, heat oil and nuts until the peanuts are golden brown. Add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds begin to pop (and jump. this will happen pretty quick), quickly mix in Turmeric and chili powder to toast the flavors together. Toss in the rice and mix in until the rice is yellow. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir in Craisins.

This is incredibly good.

Merry Hanukkah and Happy Kwanzaa.


Amber Skyze said...

The rice looks good. I'll have to try it! Thanks for the recipe.

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

I am in love with your new look and your recipe and your holiday story! LOVE IT! We do tamales on Christmas Eve, and have a tradition of wild mushroom lasagna with homemade pasta on Christmas Day. I'm going to try your recipes - the grape thingy sounds pretty weird!

Rassles said...

Well, I will have to make the crap out of that.

Mia Watts said...

Rassles! Hey babe, good to see you again. You back to blogging?

Julia, I'm on my way over to my other Aunt's house today. She's having me bring Spanish red wine so we can drink and make Tapas all afternoon.

Amber, Let me know what you think.

Anny Cook said...

The tortillas look scrumptious... Happy New Year!