Saturday, December 20, 2008

Laundry, Rice, and Wishful Thinking

Dinner last night was that promised rice with fried Treet and sweet & sour sauce. Well, the sauce and treet was yummy, but the rice came out less than what it should have been. It was still soupy, and a tad crunchy in the middle. Here's how I cooked it.

1 cup rice
2 cups water
pinch of salt

put in pan and bring to boil, covered. I let it boil for about 10 minutes, and stirred it occasionally, just enough to keep it from sticking. Then I took it off the heat, and let it sit for about 30 minutes. It just didn't cook enough I guess.

Then, this morning I am reading over issue #115 of backwoods home magazine and what to my wondering eyes do appear? But an article titled "Gourmet Nutrition with Rice and Beans" by Richard Blunt. A choir of angels sang and I have another method to try. I may try it today as I really want to get it right. Rice is a very important grain.

Here is What Mr. Blunt says I should do for this rice.

"All Long grain white rices should first soaked for 15 to 30 minutes and rinsed before cooking. this removes excess surface startch and improves the cooking properties of these rices. Since nonconverted brown rice still has a bran layer covering each grain, this step is not necessary.

the absorption method: this method will produce excellent results with all rice sizes: long grain, medium grain, and short grain. simply combine the rice, liquid, and salt in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Gently stir the rice at the first signs of boil, and then put the spoon away - i.e. don't keep poking at the rice. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until grains are tender. Resist the temptation to lift the lid and peek while the rice is cooking. When the suggested cooking time has been reached, remove the pot from the heat and let rest - still covered - for at least 15 minutes before serving."

So. I can see a lot of things I did wrong. lol. If I remember right my sister in law said to rinse the rice, but the bag instructions said not to. So I went with the not to directions on the bag. But according to Mr. Blunt it doesn't matter what the bag says and this rice (I was cooking long grain) should definitely been not only rinsed, but also soaked first. I'll give it another go today and see what I come up with.

If you don't subscribe to this magazine, you should. It's a great resource on being self-sufficient and todays climate both politically and publically. It's not too expensive, about $50.00 for 2 years, and it comes every 2 months. If you subscribe right now for 2 years, you also get a copy of Jackie Clay's new book about setting up her homestead in the wilderness. You can call 1-800-835-2418 to subscribe. You can also go to to subscribe there. There is also a lot of other options to subscribe and get some of their other wonderful books and publications. Hopefully someday soon I'll be able to afford to get their "whole sheebang!" It's $270.00 plus shipping & handling and is everything they have printed plus a 2 year subscription. Maybe one of my wonderful relatives will gift it to me for Christmas or next year for my Birthday. It would be a WONDERFUL resource for our little homestead.

Yesterday was another dish day and icicle harvest. Not only were we able to do dishes, but we still have a 5 gallon blue jug of snow melt water! Whoot! This will come in handy since I still have to do some laundry and wash my hair. For those of you who don't know me personally, or have seen pics of me with my hair down, it probably sounds odd to you to hear about me washing my hair as a major project. Well, when you have hair past your hips, and it's THICK (I'm Native American) and no running water, it is a VERY major project. lol. It does take a bit to wash, and rinse, and it takes hours to dry. If I put it up in braids right after washing, then it has taken me up to 2 day for my hair to dry.

I'll need to buy a laundry line when we go to town next time. Right now I don't have one and it's driving me nuts. I do have a cable we use as a doggy tie out. Freya gets put on it when we are doing things outside and can't watch her or call her back to camp every 2 - 3 minutes. She loves to run off while we are distracted. Anyway, I'll bring that cable in and hang it from the rafters to do laundry. It's not the best thing in the world as it's a little thick for a laundry cable, but you make do with what you have.

We are actively on the lookout for a 4th furchild. I mentioned this to my sister and she just about pee'd herself I think. She doesn't know what we will do with a 4th, it's not like we have a lot of room here in the cabin. But we have the heart and the land to take it running on. Hubby would prefer another Norwegian Elkhound, so that is what we are on the look out for.

Ok, with this news I am off to figure out breakfast. :) We are down to 4 eggs until Monday, so maybe I'll splurge and do fried egg something for this meal cycle. Don't know. I'll let you know tomorrow what we decide on.

Mrs. Treehaven - Rice experimentor

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