Rainbow Rice: The NZ version!
We made it!21 February 2012
We had a couple of emails asking us about rubbing alcohol after featuring this Rainbow Rice. Rubbing alcohol is also known as surgical spirit (basically the alcohol used to clean wounds etc) and is available from most chemists/pharmacies, but it appears, isn't that common in the average New Zealand home.
So I had a brainwave and decided to see if I could make Rainbow Rice from what I just had in the cupboard. I figured the theory of the alcohol was to help disperse the food colouring, but evaporate off and leave the rice dry and not in any way sticky. My solution, hand sanitizer. For each colour, I put two cups of plain white rice, 1 Tbsp of hand sanitizer and 1 Tbsp of food colouring into a bag, and mixed it all around until well dispersed. I then lay it out on newspaper to dry. The result... perfect Rainbow Rice. It even kept the fragranced smell of the hand sanitizer I used which is quite nice.
There are another couple of things I will say about Rainbow Rice. The first is that it is oddly addictive. It took me about 10 minutes (and $3) to make six colours (half of a decent sized storage tub), and once dry, I spent ages sitting there playing with it myself. The next day I had it on the table and had to keep going back to it. The kids have asked to play with it every day since (for a week!). The other thing is that you need to be prepared for a bit of a mess and to deal with the loss of what ends up in the vaccum cleaner (it's a good thing it's cheap to make!). The ideal is to place down a thin clean up mat, sheet, or old table cloth that you can easily pick up and use to pour the rice back into it's container.
I was also thinking that if I could find some nice clear plastic bottles with lids I could put some in there to make pretty musical instruments.