Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Maids-A-Milking and Korea Tour Day 8


These cookies are starting to give me a complex. I just looked at the list of gifts I want to give my husband and so far it includes socks and a book. It's not that I don't love him. It's just that...well... I hate feathers, so that takes the first 4 days right off the list. And he doesn't like gold, so I won't be getting him those rings. And then we're back to the feather conundrum. And I can't hire 8 maids to do our milking because we don't even have a farm. Or cows. Or an actual backyard for that matter. Do you think that banana pudding counts as a gift? I could get him some of that. Then I would have THREE things on the list. Maybe I'll just re-wrap some of his gifts from last year and see if he notices. I bet that would stretch it to FIVE gifts at least. That's almost like 12. I an very nearly as good of a gift giver as this anonymous foul-fancying-song-singing-gift-giving-giver of true love Christmas gifts. At least my gifts don't come with feathers. 

1. Outline the cookie with a #2 tip and thick black icing. Randomly, the shoulders are the easiest place to start. Then follow the edge of the cookie to make the arms, coming in for the hands of course. Then do the skirt and the top. Finish the skirt with an apron and then make some crazy hair. Crazy cute hair, I mean. Add a face and then a neck and shoes. It seems complicated, but it's really not if you go in this order.

2. Use semi-thick (23 second ) icing to fill in all these little spaces. OR... use thin icing and an oscillating fan, heat gun or dehydrator fan to set the icing so you don't get craters. Be careful not to overfill your outline. Let dry over night.
3. Use your thick black icing make a bucket. Give it a few minutes to dry.
4. Add two little triangles on each side of the head for bows and two tiny dots for eyes. Fill the bucket with red icing. And... if you wanted to, you could add some pink to her cheeks, but that's totally your call. I mean, if you hate cute cookies and want to ruin Christmas, that's fine. No judging here.

KOREA TOUR DAY 8

Let's talk about rice. They grow it here. And they grow a lot of it. Wherever they can.


In the springtime they flood the rice paddies and just let it sit for a few weeks. And then when it's really muddy and squishy, they go out with a tractor-boat and plant the little bunches of baby rice plants.

And then they grow into toddler size rice plants with other tiny little floating plants surrounding them. This is actually my favorite stage of rice.

I love looking at the contrast of the endless rows of green rice and dark water. (This is July in case you were wondering.)

Seriously, how could you NOT love this?

As the summer progresses, the rice fills in all the extra spaces and creates a dense field of green.

The rice grains develop and the tops start drooping as they mature.

And then the rice paddies turn a lovely shade of gold which is not at all shown in this picture. 

They cut the rice with this super-cool contraption. It's kind of like a lawn mower, except it spits the rice stalks out the back and the rice grains end up in a little basket on the side.

They gather the rice stalks up and do something with them that I don't know what it is. 

Sometimes they burn them though. (This is October-ish.)

In the small town that we lived in, the rice paddy owners on our side of town would block off this street and cover it with tarps and then spread the rice on it to dry. The rice grains are still in their hulls. Black rice is at the bottom and white rice is at the top of the hill.

And that brings us to now. Winter. And snow. And rice paddies that are waiting for spring.

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