September is National Rice Month

September is National Rice Month

In honor of my absolute favorite grain, here are some fun things to do with rice.

Cook some. Rice month wouldn’t be rice month without a rice meal. Go with something new and completely different. If you normally make pilaf, try some healthy brown rice. If you make Spanish rice with enchiladas, try an Indian curry with basmati rice instead. Try one of these recipes for risotto, pecan rice, and other flavors.

Throw some. Don’t throw rice outside, since it presents a hazard for birds. Instead, throw it inside for a pretend wedding. (Use a small amount for easy clean-up and the least amount of waste.)

Build something. My preschooler likes to glue rice onto pictures she draws for added texture. Make your own 3-D picture this way. Alternatively, glue it onto other things—such as popcicle sticks, fallen tree branches, odds and ends in the recycling bin—for an interesting look and feel.

Play Free Rice. This is my absolute favorite website, as well as my favorite game to play. You just visit the site and start playing—no login required—and match the right synonym, out of four, with the provided vocabulary word. If you get the answer correct, you win a donation of free rice to people in need. While a few grains doesn’t sound like much, it adds up quickly. In ten minutes, you could probably feed at least a whole family. The questions change in relation to your answers as well; if you miss a question, you get an easier term, while you get a more challenging word if you get one right. How they determine which is easier or harder for you, I’m not sure, since sometimes it seems like the opposite!

Make rice treats. Try your hand at a rice pudding, sticky rice, or custard.

Make colored rice. This is a lot of fun to do for use in art projects. Be warned: this stuff can get all over your house if you hang it on the walls—particularly if your pets can reach it!

Make musical instruments. Seal off the end of a toilet paper or paper towel tube and fill it with some rice. Do this with several of them, with varying amounts of rice, for varying sounds. Seal the other end (gluing cardboard works well) and allow them all to dry before using them for your own family shaker band.