Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Never cook alone

"In December, drinking horchata
I'd look psychotic in a balaclava
Winter's cold is too much to handle
Pincher crabs that pinch at your sandals"
-Horchata by Vampire Weekend

Since I have lost my voice so completely that it would be an utter waste of time to even attempt to go to school, I embarked on a culinary journey of sorts today in leu of class. Ever since the release of Vampire Weekend's new CD, I've been dying to try my hand at making homemade horchata, which is what the first track of the album is about.

"Horchata (or-CHA-tah) is a milky white, sweet beverage that was introduced to Spain by the Moors. The original Spanish version is made with ground tiger nuts and is especially popular in Valencia. In Latin America, where the tiger nut is not commonly available, pulverized rice is used. In Mexico, horchata is one of the most common aguas frescas and is ladled from large glass jars set in ice." -whats4eats.com

So, after the decision was made that I would stay home, I immediately began to make preparations for my horchata adventure. I had previously done research on how horchata is made, but had never printed out an actual recipe. No problem, I'll just look it up again, right?


It was snowing this morning, which means the satelite dish that connects me to the rest of the universe is dusted in just enough of the flakey, white stuff that the connection is ka-put. In other words, no internet.

But I didn't let this little fact hinder me at all. I remembered most of the recipe and, honestly, how hard could it be? Horchata is made of rice and water, for Pete's sake! Famous last words.

With a quick prayer that none would be harmed in the process about to ensue, I dove in. After about three hours of boiling rice, steaming rice, soaking rice, and blending rice, the horchata was ready. I, in my joy of coming this far without assistance from modern, internet-type technology, was ready to behold the glory. And after looking at my creation that had congealed into a substance that resembled Southern-style grits....

...I'd rather not talk about my horchata.

Photos (top to bottom): Horchata and Jamacia drinks (e-how.com)
Horchata in a Mexican cafe (bakingbits.com)
Horchata ala Carolyn Michelle

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