Octavian no longer takes naps. To my surprise, I am not missing naps one little bit. I know, whaaaat? Now, before you think I’m off my rocker completely, no nap means early bedtime. And an early bedtime without a struggle. In my world, this is the equivalent to hitting the jackpot. Wait no, that’s a lie. This is probably a million times better. I may not get a break in the afternoon these days, but now I have my nights back! I can actually get some work done, fold a load of laundry or on super rare occasions watch a movie.
Yesterday was a long day for Octavian. Preschool, cuddles and reading for over an hour where I read the same book the entire time (kid has a hard life) and lots of time outside since, well, the rain is coming…
We got home at 6pm just in time for dinner. To keep him from falling asleep in the stroller I had to carry him home. Where is all of this rambling going? For the first time since Octavian was an infant, my child fell asleep sitting on my lap. I was still eating my dinner and it was 6:15pm.
Usually, when Octavian gets really tired he gets super hyper and looks for trouble. Maybe it was all the fresh air, but my my wild child was DONE. So, I finished my dinner, changed him into his jammies and put him in bed.
He slept until 2:30am asking for food…
In your dreams, kid. Literally…
So, after an hour, he went back to sleep and work up at 730am asking to go to a hotel.
Jasmine Rice with Saffron and Dried Cranberries
2 cups jasmine or basmati rice, washed
2 tablespoons oil, divided
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried yellow raisins
1/2 cup pistachios
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon crushed saffron threads
1/4 cup hot water
Fresh thyme, for serving
FOR THE RICE
Thoroughly wash rice and soak in water for at least 30 minutes to soften rice.
Fill a large saucepan with at least 6 quarts (12 cups) of water and bring to a boil. Add a large pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add rice to the saucepan and reduce heat to medium. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally. After 4-5 minutes, use a long wooden spoon to scoop a few grains from the water. Use your thumb and index finger to squish grain to check doneness. Rice should be soft with a slight bite, or “al dente”. Do not overcook!
Remove from heat and drain in a fine mesh colander; set aside.
FOR THE SAFFRON WATER AND DRIED FRUIT
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Add dried cranberries and golden raisins to the skillet and mix. Sprinkle with salt and 1 teaspoon of sugar and continue to sauté until warm. Add pistachios to the skillet and sauté, stirring frequently, for an additional 1-2 minutes, being careful to prevent the nuts from burning. Remove from heat and mix with the rice.
To prepare the saffron water, mix together 1 teaspoon crushed saffron threads with 1/4 cup hot water. Steep for several minutes, or until the water becomes a deep yellow color. Mix the saffron water with the cooked rice and dried fruit.
Garnish with fresh thyme and serve.