Wednesday, February 9, 2011

valentine candle and colored rice

We're a candle lighting people.  We light candles at meals when we express our gratitude for the sun, earth, food, farmers and cooks.  We light candles when we tell stories.  We light candles at bed-time to transition our daughter into the envelope of nighttime darkness.  We go through lots of candles this way and we try to come up with inventive candle holding devices.
For Valentine's Day we did some simple decorating of a glass votive that we already use.  Since the tissue paper hearts are stuck on with regular white glue, we'll be able to wash them off after this holiday and re-use the glass holder when Spring and Easter decor is next in order.  The problem with this votive (and also some of the mason jars we often use) is that the bottom is slightly convex and the candle tends to slide off to one side.  I came up with the idea of putting rice in the bottom to level it.  I wanted it to be a bit more festive though so I decided to add some color.

It was so easy and Naiya loves the pink!  (I mixed some white back in for a confetti look.)  Of course, one could color the rice into any shade of the rainbow (that food coloring would allow) and it seems like there could be some fascinating alternative uses for multi-colored rice as well. 

Colored Rice Recipe:
1 cup uncooked white rice
10-20 drops food coloring (depending on intensity of color desired)
1 Tblsp. vinegar
Mix food coloring and vinegar in a plastic bag.  (The vinegar sets the color.)  Add rice.  Seal bag and mix from the outside until rice is evenly coated.  Spread rice onto a cookie sheet and bake at 200 for about an hour.  Once cooled, the color will be set and won't come off onto little hands.

Naiya is also coming up with a number of uses for the pink rice in her play kitchen.  In turn, mommy is coming up with inventive ways to get rice out from all the nooks and crannies into which it rolls.

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