On December 26th of last year our Family Christmas committee met and began throwing out ideas for the gift we would give in the coming year. Our committee knew that if we were to be considered like the house that gives out full size candy bars at Halloween, we couldn't waste any time. This year the committee came to the conclusion because of the financial conditions of the world we would give a versatile gift -- homemade rice cakes.
We failed to find a recipe for homemade rice cakes. Quaker apparently doesn't want anybody to find out their secret formula. We decided that each member of the committee would taste a rice cake then discern by taste the ingredients in them. We unanimously came to the conclusion on the main ingredient. They are called rice cakes, but we determined it was probably to throw you off so you couldn't make your own. We figured the main ingredient was a small rice-shaped type of Styrofoam. We tested various types of Styrofoam until we found one similar in color and which had no taste. This had to be it! With tiny stencils we carved the little rice shaped Styrofoam pieces to add to the mix. It was hard to tell if the second most dominating taste was a heavy paper or cardboard. We decided to go with paper. We took common notebook paper and shredded it and re-shredded it until it turned into a powdery substance. (We hoped the ink wouldn't create any health problems, but would enchance the color of our cakes.) After identifying the two main indredients we knew there must be a binding material to hold these items together. We cheated a little by simply asking local physicians, "What type of glue has no taste and would not be harmful if eaten in small circular amounts?" Our family formula was created over months and months of mixing and testing. We then took the perfect mix and threw batch after batch into the dryer to ensure every ounce of moisture was removed. Once all the moisture was removed, we then placed the dried, tasteless material onto a flat pan and again with stencils we cut the cakes into a perfect circle. It should go without saying that we sang during each phase of this project our favorite family song, "Whistle while you work."
Oh, how we hope that the kids haven't already devoured them. They're much more than a treat. There's been more than one family night when our activity was kick ball or baseball and we didn't have any bases. We simply grabbed four homemade cakes from the pantry and then it was "play ball!" Brush them off and then set them back in the pantry or just enjoy them after the game. Playing indoor hocky and need a puck? Tired of scratching your hardwood floors while playing shuffleboard in the hall? Can't afford clay pigeons for shooting practice? No, they won't break! Just look for the hole to see if you hit your mark then shoot at them again and again. Take an ear swab with a little soap to clean the gun powder residue from the holes to make them safe enough for the grandkids to snack on.
Short on cash for decorations for the Holidays? No problem. Take three of these cakes, put one on top of the other. Place a small hat on the top cake and, voila, you have a snowman to hang on your front door to greet all your friends and neighbors. Hurry fast so you won't be thought of as a copycat. Do you have bald spots on the Christmas tree? Take a handful of cakes, paint them with bright colors, and hang them all over the tree. Oh, what a difference! (Remember take a 30 grit sand paper to remove the paint and get them back into the pantry for future use.)
They're not justs for recreation and decoration. They're a great food storage item. They have no shelf life. Nobody can identify a good one from an expired one. They beauty is that one cake could possibly feed a family of four for up to a month. Remember one tiny piece of cake will expand up to thirty time its size with a little water.
We could go on and on about this glorious circular delight, but the point really is -- we are happy to give the gift filled with a little Styrofoam, a little paper, a little glue and a lot of love.
Love, The Tippetts Family
And now, a little something to say, "Merry Christmas" fellow bloggers: