What’s in my lunchbox? Rice, not potatoes


Usually at this time of the year I’m all about potatoes. But I had a big bag of rice in the cupboard that seemed to be heading to be way out of date. So I cooked the whole lot and froze it. This was a brilliant move as it allows me to make dishes like this spicy rice. Perfect for using up the odds and ends in the fridge. Also perfect for when you find you have no soy sauce left.

Use plenty of oil and fry an onion and some garlic. Dump in the cooked rice. Then add whatever you have to hand. In this case the last of a pan of marinated tofu ( a soy sauce free marinade), my faithful chilli flakes, and my new favourite seasoning turmeric. Then take this from plan old fried rice to amazing fried rice by turning off the heat and stirring in a few handfuls of greens.

It reheated really well in a microwave. Clearly it’s one of those dishes that benefits from reheating. I served with tomatoes and cucumbers. They complement the flavours and the heat nicely.

To read: The long earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter

This is so easy to read, but at the same time fills your head with thoughts about how you would cope with the situation, and what the right thing to do would be. It’s the literary equivalent of enjoying a really well prepared and presented meal that leaves you feeling full but not stuffed.

I like the way that individuals are presented as being different, and that they are not always thrilled by this prospect. I’m intrigued by the different ways they deal with not fitting in. By contrast other characters think that they’re thinking outside the box, but they’re not. It’s a great demonstration that when mankind is presented with something really exciting their first thought is money, and their first action seems to be destruction.

This reads like a perfect blend of Stephen King, David Brin, and Philip Pullman. I’m delighted that it’s the first in a series.

The concept of the long earth itself is massively exciting. To be able to be elsewhere in an instant. To be able to escape from the madding crowd. To be alone. I was almost tempted to put my potato crop to use and build a stepper.




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