Mismatched Sock Rice

Basmati Rice-filled Hot Sock, Smiling for Cookies
Basmati Rice-filled Hot Sock, Smiling for Cookies

Tidying my cookbook shelves today led to the two things in this photo. The lovely photo of the artfully arranged desert tray within my photo is from a 1950 book edited by Ruth Berolsheimer at the C.A.I. and published by Consolidated Book Publishers in Chicago. What does it have to do with the sock smiling as it surrounds the book? Rice. I’m sure there’s some rice in some recipe in it.

Most people like rice. Some people like it more than others. For instance, there were numerous reports that Sisi, the general who no longer wears his uniform as the president of Egypt, loves rice so much that he asked the Saudis and Emiratis for 10 or 20 billion dollars worth of theirs. Some suggest the return they’d get for all that rice (and more) must surely be worth the cost.

I also love rice, have a soft spot for Basmati rice, the scent of it dry and cooked, and the texture compared to the American rice of my childhood, a name I won’t even say.

I also love a heat wrap around my neck when I’ve been bent over this way and that looking at cookbooks and magazines in stacks on my kitchen bookshelves, sorting, recycling.

That’s where the old brown, mismatched sock comes in. Most of us who do laundry have a collection of single socks, waiting for the match to show up in a subsequent wash or behind a laundry basket or who knows where. Mine has about 40-50 strays. After no mate is found over time, I use those strays as rags or …

fill a sock with Basmati rice, up to two pounds. Sew the end shut with a needle and thread. Put that sewn end inside another sock. Sew the end of the second sock shut. Voila! The brown sock in the photo has one pound of rice in it, takes two minutes to heat in the 700 Watt microwave.

The two-pounder not shown in the photo takes four minutes to heat in the 700 Watt. They’re quicker in a 1,000 Watt microwave. Be careful. The object is hot rice, not charred rice, and not so hot that skin burns. But, oh boy, what a lovely use for rice. Put it on sore muscles, wrap it around a sore neck and inhale the pleasing aroma. Works every time, along with looking through an old cookbook.


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