san fransisco rice and other hot messes

San Fransisco Rice
San Fransisco rice

Hello there, carby, starchy side dish.

Who ever thought of combining pasta and rice? It’s kind of like combining soup and stew. But; manohman it sure is tasty.

I made this the other week when we were “rowing” our Five In A Row book of Grandfather’s Journey. In the book, the chronicles of an old Japanese man are recorded as he spends lots of time in San Fransisco and Japan.  The unit study also has a cookbook to go along with each book, so I decided to make the “San Fransisco Rice” recipe.

Yes, it’s like Rice-A-Roni™, aka “The San Fransisco Treat”… but: Sans the flavor packet and sodium.

And, I have to say: I like this one better, and it makes a ton. Yum.

But: back to the book- it’s a beautiful story, with watercolor illustrations, and it’s very “real” not your typical children’s book. The same author wrote another book, “Tea with Milk” which actually has a love story intertwined in it about how his parents met. It’s refreshing, and sweet. I highly recommend them both.

Anyway… remember my post about “Enlarging Our Tent”?

We did it again. We have taken in another newborn, this time a preemie. Of course, I didn’t know anything except that there was a 10 day old that was being discharged … and: we said “yes”-and: hours later a social services worker is at our house with the tinyiest baby, and … once more we are in newborn baby land. Ahh the snuggles, smells and tummy time.

So, this is our fifth placement. #1 is still with us, #2 went to live with grandmother, #3 went to a more specialized home, #4 went to live with dad… and here we are number 5. Of course this doesn’t include all the temprary respites, I think we are over ten including those.


If someone would have told me two years ago what my life would looks like now- I would have laughed and said “no way!” And, now: here we are- and I wouldn’t change a thing. Even admist the terrible toddler tantrums, the biting, the running, the screaming… even in the hot mess fostering can sometimes be, all is well with my soul.

There is a peace that comes from God that gets you through the tatrums, sleepless nights, thrown food, uncertainty and anxiety,poopy diaper explosions,  homevisits, therapy visits, parent visits, doctor visits….you just do it. It’s a roller coaster, but there is no other ride I’d want to be on.

And, here I am on the baby train. I wish I could show photos, but I cannot. Consider this a novel and paint your own image of a blissful hot mess. 🙂

I’m happy.

It’s been a long time.

After the loss of my father, I was struggling.

Sure, I have had tons of happy moments, adventures, and fun days… but there was always a hollow longing in my soul that I wasn’t doing something. I knew I wanted to impact kids, guide them, and help lead them in the right path. I was a group leader for pre teens for a year at church, later I became director of Children’s Ministry at a small church, I was an assistant at a local school… but there was a calling for more.

The idea of fostering never really crossed my mind until it was showing up everywhere I turned. I began to ask questions, my daughter began to talk about it, we went to an informational meeting, signed up for classes, got background checked, home visits, and then….

Here we are.

Embracing the hectic, happy, hot mess of fostering.

So: what’s your hot mess?

I don’t think of the term “hot mess” as a negative thing. Most of the time hot messes comeout of good intentions, and are things we learn from, and can laugh at.

Take this San Fransisco rice, for example.

The recipe calls for vermicelli pasta broken into 2″ segments. Well, I did that part. Then I forgot my broken pasta was in a small bowl on the counter. I grabbed it hastily to put it away, forgettting about the small haystack of  dry pasta it held.

Dry pasta all over the floor.

That’s a mess, and luckily it wasn’t hot.

So, I call my dogs… to get all four to come without shouting each individual name, I simply say: “”uh-oh!” which, in dog talk means: “Something edible has fallen on the floor”

They come, scampering in, excited to find a tasty morsel or two.

They found the haystack of dry pasta and, clearly were not interested. At all.

So, I grab my cordless sweeper vac…. it proceeds to spin and spit the pasta peices even further. Meanwhile, a baby is crying and my dogs are underfoot, clearly disapointed in the results of the said “uh-oh”. Out had to come the broom and dustpan, and thank goodness for those old timey house cleaning aids….

I really loved my broom and dustpan during the hurricane. It was all I could do to keep the house somewhat normal with spaghetti model extension cords running all over the floor. So, it turns out I don’t have mush of a hot mess story to go along with the recipe, but I have my life…my hot mess of a happy life.

Go embrace your hot mess.


san fransisco rice and other hot messes

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 -6 servings


  • 4 oz uncooked long grain rice
  • 4 oz uncooked vermicelli pasta broken into 2" pieces
  • 3 TBS butter
  • 4 TBS sesame seeds
  • 2 TBS chopped green onion scallion
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 TBS soy sauce


  • Heat butter in a large frying pan over med-high heat and toast the rice and pasta, and sesame seeds , stirring often until golden.
  • Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil, cover and cook on medium low for 20-25 minutes , or until rice and pasta are tender.
  • Toss with soy sauce, and green onions.
  • Serves 4-6

san fransisco rice





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