So I promised that I'd tell the story about squirrel fishing with Rice. And that I'd explain why she's called Rice. I'll do so, but don't forget to scroll down and read my post Plugs for Blogs, because I don't want my precious friends to be forgotten.
To give away a bit of Rice's identity, I'm going to admit that her last name is Rogers. I think it's a common enough last name not to get her in trouble (for animal rights violations) on the Internet. Rice's family has a wonderful recipe called Rogers Rice. It was one of the first things I learned about her and one of the first things that made me love her. And believe me---if you got a taste of Rogers Rice, you would want more, too.
I was getting to know Rice in the days before cell phones or caller ID or something---all I know is that I was able to successfully prank call her twice. The first time was a random announcement that her horse was dead (which was funny because she had no horse). The second time, she received a call from Betty Crocker:
Me: Yes, may I please speak to Rice Rogers?
Rice: This is Rice.
Me: Hello, Ms. Rogers. This is Karen from Betty Crocker Inc. It has come to our attention that you have been preparing and sharing a recipe you call "Rogers Rice." Is that correct?
Rice: Yes, that is correct.
Me: Well, Ms. Rogers, it juts so happens that we at Betty Crocker hold the copyright on that recipe and if you do not stop passing out the recipe, we will have to press charges.
Okay, so she figured out it was me. I thought I was very convincing.
Another random fact you should know about Rice that has nothing to do with squirrel fishing is that she hates dairy. I don't understand it. How can anyone not like cheese or ice cream? One day at a Pie Night, I had brought a lemon merengue pie but still had to prepare the merengue. So I had two little egg whites in a small cup. When Rice asked me what was in the cup, Captain Fabuloso and I quickly informed her that it was a non-dairy drink that we brought for her that she simply had to try. So she tried it and then spat the egg whites back into the cup, and then I got mad at her for ruining my merengue. And then El Senor grabbed the "non-dairy drink" that she had spat in and he drank the whole thing down. And I was relieved that my eggs were unwasted. (Here, I'd insert a joke about my eggs being wasted every month as I hurtle toward spinsterhood, but that might gross you all out more than the idea of El Senor drinking egg whites, and none of you would take me seriously anyway because you'd all say something like, "Oh you have a boyfriend. You can't complain.")
Alright, alright. This is what you all wanted to hear anyway. Before my mission, Rice moved out to the DC area, where I was also living with my parents. She had no friends and I had no friends, so we'd get together and try to find things to do that were new and interesting. One day, we made an unforgettable trip to Historic Ellicott City. We thought it was going to be fun. Instead, we just hit antique shop after antique shop, and really, you can only take so much of that. Another day, in listing ideas of activities, somehow "turtle fishing" was mentioned. Okay, so it may have been me that mentioned it. The fact was that our family lived on a house that backed onto a lake that had turtles. And I had never seen live turtles before! And so I wanted to catch one and play with it.
I reasoned that when I went crawdad fishing (12 years earlier), we caught the crawdads by fastening bacon onto strings tied to sticks. Turtles couldn't be so different. So Rice and I got a broom stick, tied on some string, and brought some hot dogs with us to fasten to the end of the string. We brought a bucket and set off to the lake, full of hope.
It took us about five minutes with our hot dog in the water to figure out that no turtles were going to be interested in what we had to offer. We took our hot dog out of the water and started walking back home. But the woods we had to walk through were full of squirrels. So we decided to see what we could catch. We set the hot dog, still tied to the string attached to our stick, on the ground. A squirrel approached, tentatively picked up the hot dog, and started running as fast as it could. Until it got to the end of the string, at which point, the hot dog stayed still and the squirrel's feet flew out from under it. Upon recovery, the confused squirrel returned to the hot dog and repeated the same process. Rice and I were thrilled to exploit a stupid and helpless creature for our own entertainment.
After a few tries, the squirrel finally wrenched the hot dog free of the string and took off with its prize. And Rice and I set off with a new hot dog to find a new squirrel.
2 cups of long grain rice
2 cans of beef consume soup
2 cans of french onion soup
1/2 stick of butter
Combine in a casserole dish and bake at 375 for 45 minutes.
Serve, and enjoy a little piece of Rogers heaven.
(and don't tell Betty Crocker)