Tag Archives: rice

Monthly Rice Field Photo #5 – April

April Rice Field by sjzwier
April Rice Field, a photo by sjzwier on Flickr.

So, I forgot to take a rice field photo for March, but really March looked a lot like February. You didn’t miss much.

Now it’s pretty exciting because the rains have started. It’s not raining everyday and never all day, but just enough to get a some water into this field. People are starting to plant corn in their upland fields.

Monthly Rice Field Photo #4 – February

This photo was taken on February 16th.

Horchata – Mexican Rice and Almond Drink

Mexico has a great tradition of sweet refreshing drinks. My favorites are horchata, tamarindo, and jamaica “ha-mike-ah”. This was my first time making horchata and it turned out well. I’ll probably do it again, but I might cut back on the almonds because they’re hard to get and this recipe takes a lot of them. I also really didn’t enjoy blanching and peeling almonds by hand. Definitely buy blanched almonds if you have the option.

There’s a wide variety of horchata recipes, but you can find the one I used at the Homesick Texan blog. I liked this recipe because it doesn’t use powdered cinnamon or milk. Powdered cinnamon tends to float on top of liquids and adding milk to horchata just doesn’t seem authentic.

Monthly Rice Field Photo #2 – December

Now the rice fields are harvested. All that remains in the fields is the dry stems. Cows are free to roam to find any missed pieces of rice and to eat the dry rice hay. Probably the next 6 months of rice field photos will be pretty monotonous. There is only one planting season here, so you’ll have to wait until the spring to see any changes in this field!

The weather today is sunny even though it doesn’t look like it in the photos, which were taken earlier in the morning. It was chilly enough to need a sweater when I started walking to take this photo, but I quickly warmed up in the sun. It’s 68 F outside now. What a beautiful day! It rained briefly about a week ago, but other than that, it hasn’t rained since October.

Here you can see the cows a little better:

Monthly Rice Field Photo #1

More Rice Harvest Pictures

 

collecting the rice stems into a stack with the rice ends in the center

 

 

another rice stack

 

 

cut rice stems drying before being collected into a stack

 

 

fresh rice

 

Monthly Rice Field Photo #1 – harvest time

I’m planning to take a post a photo of this paddy rice field every month for the next year. I hope this will give you a better idea of how the seasons change in Laos and how rice is grown. Usually people plant rice at the beginning of the rainy season, in May or June. Then the rice grows until October or November when it is dry and ready to be harvested. When the rice is planted, the fields are full of water, maybe 6 inches deep, but by the end of the rice season, the fields are dry. In Laos all of this is done by hand, so it’s a lot of work, although some families do have threshing machines for processing rice after the harvest.

So now we’re at the beginning of the dry season and everyone is harvesting their rice. James co-workers are busy in the fields when they’re not at work. Our house helper has taken the week off to harvest upland rice with her family. A friend invited us to harvest rice with her family this Saturday, but that’s already a busy day for us. I’d like to help sometime though so that I can better understand what harvesting is like. I’ve heard it’s really hard work. I have a feeling I wouldn’t actually be much help having never done it before!

In the picture at the top, you can see that some of the rice has already been cut on the right side of the photo. It’s put in bundles and laid on top of the rice stems. After the field has been cut, the harvesters will collect the rice into a large stack until they thresh the rice to get the grains out (usually with a machine). I hope I can get a picture of a rice stack.

Here you can see people harvesting (you may need to click on the picture to see it bigger):

More Rice Harvest Pictures

Monthly Rice Field Photo #2

Chana Masala – Indian Garbanzo Beans

Now this dish isn’t the most local because the beans come from India, but I really like it anyway. We can’t get garbanzos in town, but if you want them, you can find them at the Indian grocery store in Vientiane. You can also get the spices for this recipe there. I got this Chana Masala recipe from Smitten Kitchen.

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