Anniversary and Vietnamese Hot Clay Pot Rice

I've had a really bad cold for the last two weeks, upper respiratory that went into the lungs and aggravated my asthma all to heck and back again. So I missed doing the digital transcripts for the 911 dispatch center last week, and also had to skip on my bee venom shots because they don't like me doing them when I need my immune system to fight something off. For that matter, I probably shouldn't like dampening my immune system when I am fighting stuff off.

Anyway. I missed 911 last week, and went in this week. They had an anniversary card for me! And it included a $25 gift certificate to Chili's! That was really sweet of them, and it indicates that they like what I'm doing, I think. Volunteers at church and at the OUR center don't really get things. So we have dinner some night, and I'm grateful. It was also kind of cool today in that the machine was down, there was just one report in the queue I could do anything about, and someone had accidentally put a virus on my machine, so it was wiped clean. I figured out the One Thing I needed to get it going again, and their IT guy gave it to me and then apologized about never thinking about my account when that particular machine goes down. I cheerfully said, it's understandable and no problem, we got it working pretty quickly today. He was pleased, I think.

So. It's been a year, and it doesn't really feel like that long, but I've had a blast doing it and will just keep on doing it. They're very happy with my efficiency and the DA and Attorney for the city are pretty happy with me, too. So all is good, and I'm getting a better handle on a side of life I would probably never have even seen without it.

I got my bee venom shot yesterday and my shoulder got hot and swollen, but ice has helped a great deal. The girls are busy as bees today. *laughs* The dandelions have bloomed, and they're going nuts. I'm seriously thinking of pulling a frame or two of spring/dandelion honey, and making it so that they feel like they have more room in the hive. I'll probably add a super as well just to make sure they have the room to grow and not swarm.

I did a big experiment today. Carl used to take me to a Vietnamese restaurant in Oakland that had a hot clay pot rice that was lovely and crispy on the bottom and filled with meats and a few veggies and a fluffy savory rice that was amazingly good. So I looked up a few recipes, compared them, and made up a pot of chicken and Chinese sausage hot clay pot rice. I used my Dutch oven instead of a clay pot, since it has a lot of the same heat characteristics, and it turned out amazingly good. There was a LOT of it, though. *laughs* We'll have lunches for a while and it'll be an amazing setup for fried rice, too.

Another experiment that worked out well was just melting chunks of Trader Joe's bittersweet chocolate in the microwave and covering one side of a Honey Maid graham cracker with the stuff using an offset spatula. One square of chocolate easily covers two rectangles. I am mildly addicted to the Starbuck's bittersweet chocolate graham crackers, but they put too much chocolate on them to indulge in them on a frequent basis. The homemade ones are the perfect balance between the two, and far far too easy to make and eat. Jet actually likes these instead of the dipped ones, so that's a good sign.
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Le Cheval
Le Cheval is French/Vietnamese, not Thai, but I'm delighted to hear you've made clay pot rice. It's sooo good. There are two schools of thought re the crispy rice at the bottom: one says to eat your way down so the crispy goodness is a treat at the end, the other says dig down and eat it as you go along, to avoid possible sorrow of getting full before reaching the crispy part.

A few doors down from Le Cheval is Siam Bay, a Thai place that's also good. A Mexican restaurant just opened next door to that. Lots of great places to eat in downtown Oakland near EndGame, which is putting in a late night coffee shop and performance art space next door.
Re: Le Cheval
It is sooooo good. *laughs* And, I do like your schools of thought, we dug down to the bottom and ate the crispy bits with the fluffy and it was all good.

Thank you for the clarification!! I now have more recipes to try.. *laughs*

I am so envious of your EndGame area. It's so lovely, and a wonderful place to hang out.