I lived with my parents until I moved to Holland. This made moving out a double shock. Not only was I going out into the world by myself for the first time but I was also doing it in a completely different country. I had to learn to cook for myself (or choose from less appealing options such as McDonalds or starving) but at the time I could hardly even boil an egg.
My early cooking attempts met with varying levels of success, including giving myself food poisoning from under cooking chicken. Since then my need for a stomach pump has reduced as my kitchen skills have improved. However there is one simple food item that I have not yet been able to master. Many of my attempts have met with bitter failure both figuratively and literally. For some unknown reason I am unable to cook rice properly. The mysteries of this simple ingredient continue to elude me and something always goes wrong.
During my first attempt I discovered that rice expands as it boils. Unfortunately this revelation came when it was too late to do anything about the oozing volcano of rice that was slowly pouring out over the kitchen.
One of my more recent attempts was awarded the title of worst tasting rice ever. At the time this statement seemed like an unfair over reaction. How bad can rice possibly taste? When I sampled it for myself I found nothing wrong. In fact it was light, fluffy and all the other things that rice should be. At least it was for the first few seconds before the hidden after taste kicked in. Suddenly it tasted as if a sickly rat with bad breath had decided to end its life by jumping into the boiling pot of rice when I had not been looking. Luckily it was only because I had accidentally let all the water boil away.
Rice is my kitchen nemesis and the source of much amusement for my friends (as long as they don’t have to eat it). The sound of rice boiling in water might as well be the sound of mocking laughter.
However, there can only be so many ways to get rice wrong. One day I will get it right even if I have to burn the kitchen down doing so. Then I’ll eventually be able to move onto the next challenge, boiling an egg.