This may be my last SEM as it's my youngest son's 8th grade year; or I might be convinced to do one more before he graduates. We'll see.
In any case, week one is always even shorter on time than the other five week. We do introductions, talk about class procedure, go over kitchen safety, etc. Today I had planned to talk about rice - as a grass with an edible seed -; go over where rice is grown and how; and talk about different culinary traditions that use rice. So, I knew there wouldn't be much time for cooking.
We are sampling some pre-made mochi and rice crackers. But I wanted to at least make one thing. I decided to make horchata. My boys love it! And it's so easy, I can't imagine why I don't make it more often.
- 1 C uncooked rice (I used Thai jasmine rice)
- 4 C warm water
- 1 C milk (you can use any kind of milk - rice, almond, etc. - I used whole cow's milk)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/4 C maple syrup
- 2 t pure vanilla extract
- 1 t ground cinnamon
- Also needed: food processor or blender, mesh strainer or cheesecloth
Add rice, 1 C water, and cinnamon stick to a blender (preferably high-speed blender) and blend for several minutes until the rice is broken up a bit. Pour into a lidded jar and add remaining water. Let sit for 2-4 hours.
Add milk, ground cinnamon, vanilla and maple syrup and give it a quick stir to mix it up. Let sit for another 2 to 4 hours – longer is fine, too!
Strain the horchata through a tripe cheesecloth lined fine mesh sieve and press out the pulp in the cheesecloth. Discard the rice pulp and serve the horchata with ice.