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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Brown Rice Okayu and Chicken Soup

I finally had to admit defeat a few days ago. I have joined the ranks of the sick and diseased with a pretty nasty cold. I have spent the last week taking it easy, coughing like crazy, napping and hiding away from the world.

Being sick is easier when you're married. Being single you learn to either suck it up and go get the things you need like food and medicine, or make do with what you've got by eating the probably too old stuff in the back of your pantry and freezer. With a great hubby on hand I'm very well taken care of. He'll pick up anything I ask him to at the store and offers to bring dinner home for me if he goes out.

Being Japanese American comfort food has two meanings. The American side of me wants orange juice and chicken soup. That's what everyone has right? I asked hubby to get me some chicken soup, my favorite is the dry packages that you add water to. When I walked into the kitchen this is what I saw:

OK, he didn't really put them into a pyramid but he did line them up along the counter. Made me LOL. I hope I'm not sick for as long as it would take me to eat all of that soup!

The Japanese side of me craves Okayu. It's a rice porridge, I call it Japanese oatmeal, because it's very similar to oatmeal but is made of rice. I make mine in two steps using pressure cooked brown rice. I add in twice as much water as needed so it comes out sticky and mushy. You can create the porridge by adding even more water, like a four to one ratio to make a big pot all at once (1 cup of rice to 4 cups of water).

But I like cooking up each serving individually so I do it this way:

When I want some okayu I add water to a small saucepan and add some already cooked rice to it. I put it on the stovetop and bring it to a boil. I let it simmer for awhile, 15 minutes or so, then pour into a bowl. I add a minced umeobshi plum and some toasted nori seaweed. Nori is the paper thin sheets of seaweed used to wrap sushi in. The Okayu is warm and comforting and easy to digest. Yummmmm the picture is the bowl I had for breakfast this morning. Not pictured is that I do eat it with a spoon, the chopsticks are handy for breaking up the minced umeboshi.

And here are my good friends, Kleenex and cough drops. I actually prefer Ricola cough drops but the store was out so I had some Halls blue cough drops instead. Last night I was watching tv and bored so I made a tiny origami crane out of a cough drop wrapper. Made me laugh. And I could use some laughs these days.

The cold is running its course and I am basically hiding away from the world until I'm over the worst of it because I don't want to spread it to anyone I know and I don't want to catch what you might have if you're sick and I see you.

Germ Girl out.

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