Welcome to Saturday's Potluck

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
Pablo Picasso

Rice one of the most popular grains in the world. The varieties available in the local market keeps expanding. White rice is stable in storage for significant time and is one of the bulk foods I keep in the pantry.

Rice, like other grains, is the edible seed of a grass. It is unique among grains in that it was domesticated not once, not twice, but three times, on three different continents. (See, we really, really love it!)

The rice that most of us are familiar with today comes from Oryza sativa, subspecies of which produce rice as varied as the vinegared stuff used in sushi and the long and fluffy grains found in biryani, and it was domesticated in China anywhere between 8,200 and 13,500 years ago.

While the rice domesticated in Brazil no longer exists, having been abandoned after European colonizers arrived, African rice (Oryza glaberrima) was domesticated some 2,000 to 3,000 years ago and is still grown today, although solely for sustenance; it is unlikely you'll ever find examples of it in stores.

Once domesticated, Oryza sativa spread across Asia and, subsequently, the world, but not before two major subspecies emerged. The japonica subspecies of rice is marked by short, fat grains that are typically sticky when cooked; "sushi" rice is japonica, as are the varieties of rice traditionally used in Italian risotto, such as Carnaroli and arborio. Then there's the indica variety, which has long, thin grains that are drier and flakier when cooked. Basmati rice is one of the most widely known examples, and those big bags of Carolina rice you see at the grocery store are also of the indica variety.

Rice is also classified according to the way it's grown, with the main distinctions being upland versus lowland rice (terms that refer to the altitude at which the rice grows) and irrigated versus rainfed rice (terms that refer to the water source used).

My favorite way to cook is white rice 1 part rice to two parts liquid, boil for 15 minutes, turn off heat, leave lid on and let sit 5 minutes. For dryer fluffy rice stir at release the extra steam.

Two basic methods of cooking plain rice.

Adding flavors during the cooking process.

A Surprising Story: Summing up the history of paella

Alright, let’s get this straight.

If this is the history of paella, it took a pretty unlikely set of events to make it the Spanish icon that it is today. It started life off in Valencia, when the local Moors put a twist on the Arabic dish that formed part of their gastronomic heritage.

Over time, it became the favourite lunchtime meal of farmworkers toiling in the fields outside the main city. Then, when trips to the country became popular just a couple of centuries ago, it got brought into the wider Valencian culture.

And then in the most surprising turn of events, it turned out to be the favourite meal of Spain’s fascist leader, Francisco Franco. And when he started putting together his vision for a singular Spanish nationalist identity, paella got the tick of approval.

So the next time that you tuck into a plate of paella, just think about the weird and whacky series of events that got it to your plate.

Don't worry about technique, just get the rice cooked with good flavors.

________

What is on your mind today?

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Lookout's picture

So begins Masanobu Fukuoka's one straw revolution...

Look At This Grain. I believe that a revolution can begin from this one strand of straw. Seen at a glance, this rice straw may appear light and insignificant. Hardly anyone would believe that it could start a revolution. Nevertheless, I have come to realize the weight and power of this straw. For me, this revolution is very real. Look at these fields of rye and barley. This ripening grain will yield about 22 bushels (1,300 pounds) per quarter acre. I believe this matches the top yields in Ehime Prefecture. If this equals the best yield in Ehime Prefecture, it could easily equal the top harvest in the whole country since this is one of the prime agricultural areas in Japan...and yet these fields have not been ploughed for twenty-five years. To plant, I simply broadcast rye and barley seed on separate fields in the fall, while the rice is still standing. A few weeks later, I harvest the rice and spread the rice straw back over the fields. It is the same for the rice seeding. This winter grain will be cut around the 20th of May. About two weeks before the crop has fully matured, I broadcast rice seed over the rye and barley. After the winter, grain has been harvested and the grains threshed, I spread the rye and barley straw over the field.

I've never grown rice. I do grow some winter rye as a mulch. So thanks for the OT and all the info on rice. Everyone have a good day!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

studentofearth's picture

@Lookout It is now safely stored.

It is difficult use such a relaxed method. Began collecting clay for seed balls a couple of years ago, but still have not distributed around the property. Maybe this year.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

QMS's picture

One of my favorite starches, beside potatoes.
Learned to love it in Louisiana as Red Beans and Rice (traditionally on Mondays)
Then again in the orient - the backbone of almost every meal.
Also partial to rice noodles in asian cuisine (just add soy).
Have tried my hand at risotto, tho find it is a labor intensive dish tp prepare.
Back in my hippie days, would get brown rice in bulk at the local co-ops.
Couldn't get the hang of it, but wasn't much of a cook then.
Focused more on being a revolutionary Wink

Then there is rice pudding, which is popular here in New England.
It was not popular in the Midwest where I grew up, so haven't much experience
with this dish (mostly used as a dessert).

__opt__aboutcom__coeus__resources__content_migration__simply_recipes__uploads__2008__04__rice-pudding-horiz-a-1600-100518d364cb46619b30efc43311d4ec.jpg

Rice pudding, or “firni”, is a popular dish enjoyed by people of many cultures and cuisines. This food traces its roots to the grain pottages of the Middle East. It is associated with good nutrition and easy digestion, and medical texts earlier owned its name, rather than cookery books. Throughout history rice pudding has been recommended for young, old and people of all ages with ailments related to stomach. So buckle up your seatbelts and let us introduce ourselves to the origin & some unknown facts about Firni.

https://desinomadz.com/origins-of-rice-pudding-or-firni/

Thanks for the pot luck!

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studentofearth's picture

@QMS four generations was the only remnant of Southern living after the migrating to Oregon. Do not lift the rice lid was the strictest rule of the house. It took several years of looking at family trees and recipe boxes to figure the out the connection.

The migration of foods and the evolution along trade routes and food storage practices is fascinating. The evolution is still in full swing.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

@QMS
I remember a Consumer Reports article that said the combination of a cereal grain and a legume form a complete protein.
And that peasant peoples around the world eat a healthier diet than middle income Americans.
Examples were:
Tortillas and beans
Spaghetti and beans/Spaghetti and peas
Rice and tofu

EDIT: sp

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I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

studentofearth's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness is sometimes necessary to not create a new problem.

Corn was introduced in Africa without nixtamalization. Because it became a staple food for many, it caused many nutritional deficiencies. When corn is nixtamalized, it released the vital nutrient B3. This prevents the painful disorder, pellagra. Pellagra makes you develop sore skin and mouths, makes you thin, listless and could cause depression, hallucinations, irritability, and other mental disorders. In reality, Pellagra can and has ruined many lives.

In the Southern states, many of the poor depended on corn, once again without the nixtamalization process. Many of them suffered the devastating effects of pellagra because of it. While in Mexico, the poor did not suffer from it because their traditional practices saved them. It’s an important reminder of the power of cooking nourishing food using traditional practices.
...
But, as food historian Sophie Coe has explained, what really made it a superior item was nixtamalization, a process developed by women somewhere in Central American, long before the time of Jesus. To make nixtamal, women soaked their corn grains in water with lime or wood ashes from their cooking fires, loosening the tough hulls that were characteristic of ancient strains of corn. The soaking made the kernels easier to grind into meal for tortillas. Or the cook might boil the nixtamal into a puffy ricelike dish called hominy (also called posole in the Southwest). Though these techniques made for good eating, much of the brilliance lay in the nutritional chemistry: alkali from the wood ashes enhanced the protein of the maize.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

I always keep several pounds of rice in stock at home. I have read that some rice from china is contaminated with heavy metals. Some of this comes from the illegal processing of of electronics for recycling. They burn the electronics in heaps and the smoke contains contaminates that in turn pollute the water that is used to grow the rice. Then you get rice contaminated with lead and other nasty stuff in it.
link to article with info on contaminated rice

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studentofearth's picture

@jbob do not include a crop's water source. Fracking wastewater is one of the triggers that tipped me over to growing a garden again after years of buying. It took a few years of these type of articles.

Arsenic is a known contaminate which collects in the bran of the rice. White rice has less than brown. Maybe the multiple cooking methods developed around the world were partially due to observing longterm outcomes over generations of families or some families with the wrong cooking method did not thrive as well. This method works for arsenic, did not see a study for other heavy metals.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

Raggedy Ann's picture

I try to limit my rice intake to the wild rices of Minnesota. So yummy!

Enjoy the day! Pleasantry

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The UFO’s are coming to unify us.

studentofearth's picture

@Raggedy Ann Drew Hayden. Now need a few more books. As for wild rice, love the nutty taste, usually cut is with brown rice or add to a soup due to cost.

And this political issue

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

enhydra lutris's picture

so one thing on my mind is the possibility or skipping farmers' market. Today is team up and attack yard/outside chores day, so tht might be interesting, and it will almost certainly nvolve napping.

We use a lot of rice & keep types around the house - ordinary white rice for stir fried dishes, beans and rice and other such things. Arborio (we both make a mean risotto, to the point that we rarely order it out (on the rare occasions we eat out) because of the high disappointment risk, and short grain brown rice (Mahatma preferred), which goes back to college and hippy times amd the whole "You are all Sanpaku" thing. We've never tried paella (no paella pan) but we've had a professional demonstration followed by dining on same while in Spain one year.

We made white rice in th saucepan, like nearly everybody else and my wife still does. I got a Sistema Brand microwave Rice Cooker (it does much more too) which is my go to now. Put 1 cup rice and 2 cups water in it, lock on the lid, open the vent and nuke 12.5 to 13 mins at 70% power. Poof unwatched, unattended, brainless and really good for making rice for breakfast concoctions like congee.

I find an Instant Pot to be perfect for brown rice. Measure a given quantity of rice and put in a strainer. Measure the same quantity of wter and put in the instant pot, with maybe some herbs. Rince the rice, add to the pot, seal, use manual setting for 24 minutes at high pressure and allow a 10 minute slow release. I make large batches and then portion out into single servings which I freeze. The same technique works for white rice too, but tith shorter time, but I don't see the point with my nuker gadget.

Achiote is readily available here, as is sazon, so when I do rice for breakfast I load it up with some, as well as Mexican rice.

Time to watch the vids and refill my coffee -

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

studentofearth's picture

@enhydra lutris or make something similar at home.

Sazon a commercial spice blend by Goya Foods. If can't handle the MSG try this mix.

Achiote used to as the orange dye in American and Cheddar Cheeses. Alternative yellow coloring agent turmeric and saffron ($$$$) flavors may vary.

Achiote is native to the tropical areas of the Americas, including the Caribbean and Mexico. The Spanish brought the small tree from the Americas to Southeast Asia in the 1600s, where it is now a common food ingredient. It’s also produced in India and West Africa.

This spice goes by many names in different parts of the world:

Achiote is used in Mexico and in the Aztec language of Nahuatl, as well as Spanish-speaking countries of the Caribbean.
Annato is common on some Caribbean islands and in areas of South America.
Roucou is used frequently in Trinidad and Tobago, Martinique, and Guadalupe.
Achuete is primarily used in the Philippines.
Urucul Is the name of the spice among the Tupi-Gurani Indians of the Amazon.

Good day for garden work and a nap, might do it myself. Smile

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

enhydra lutris's picture

had her first chick hatch at around 3:49am or a little before. You can see a bit of it for an instant right around that time (or maybe 3:59) as she rearranges herself.

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

earthling1's picture

I make a good mexican rice w/ onions, dehydrated veggie chips, chicken/tomato bullion, and a small can (4 oz) of diced green pepper.
Sometimes open a small can of chicken and add when done.
Thanks for the history, SOE.

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After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

studentofearth's picture

@earthling1 Thanks for recipe. Are the dehydrated veggies from your spectacular gardens?

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

earthling1's picture

@studentofearth
I ordered a bag of it from a prepper store. Just a 10 oz. bag and have been eating on it for 2 years now and still have a ways to go.
I make soups with it too. And sometimes add it to scrambled egg dishes.

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After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

Azazello's picture

From British comedian Nigel Ng:

This woman has the absolute worst cooking channel on YouTube.

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It didn't have to be this way.

CS in AZ's picture

@Azazello @Azazello

Ok I should have said six degrees of cooking rice for this thread, but it had to be bacon for the joke.

When I saw your clip I knew I had seen "Uncle Roger" somewhere before! Found it! Here's one of my favorite cooking show guys and he actually gives a serious response to Uncle Roger's reaction to the woman who cooks her rice and then drains it, like pasta. He shows the clip near the end of this segment, which is actually quite interesting on the topic of rice.

(Note/disclaimer: Adam includes short paid advertisements embedded in his videos, which is the main reason I don't often share them, even though I really enjoy his work as a former journalist and college teacher now turned full-time YouTuber. His shows are as much about food science and history and culture as they are about cooking specific dishes or recipes. Many say his cooking isn't even very good! But he never fails to entertain and inform me. He is one of many who are making a living doing this now and, as we all know, it is not smart or possible to rely solely on YouTube monetization to feed yourself or a family. So many of them who build a large audience then get sponsors who they promote in a short segment embedded into their videos (circumventing those like me who pay for a subscription in order to avoid the commercials! grrr.) Adam insists he only promotes products that he actually thinks are good, but nonetheless I find the paid spots irritating, and I apologize in advance for that part. I have learned to live with them for a select few who make content that is worth putting up with them.)

And while we are on the subject...

--
Now about the worst cooking show on YouTube... I don't know who would win that competition.

But you reminded me of another very fun cooking show in a completely different vein, Mythical Kitchen. (No paid ads in these!) I would almost never cook a single thing they make on this show, but Chef Josh is just so much fun. He is smart, informative and has a great perspective on things. Here he takes on "food shaming" -- i.e., the internet attacking people who don't cook right on youtube, with a defense of "SpaghettiO pie mom."

But Josh is not above attacking a food snob, and boy howdy! This one makes me laugh every single time, it is so perfect. Go Josh! (and he is right about how to make a good grilled cheese sandwich. I tried his method and yes, it is better.)

Enjoy, everyone!

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studentofearth's picture

@CS in AZ Grilled cheese lots of opinions, had thought about using as a Open Thread subject. Currently for longer shelf life commercial breads are adding chemicals to retain moisture, harder to dry toast and corn syrups can lower temperature needed to burn vs toast. Some pre-sliced and grated cheeses are coated with anti-caking agents, limits ability to melt into the desired gooey center. Don't get me started on margarine vs butter issue.

Thanks for contributing. Smile

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

enhydra lutris's picture

@Azazello

draining the rice. I think it is way to close to lunch time to air the other video, however.

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

studentofearth's picture

@Azazello His video's are a little like Lay's potato chips hard to stop at one.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

enhydra lutris's picture

"drain" method of rice making illustrated in the first video.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

enhydra lutris's picture

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJcKtrD2Rn0

Restart video or scroll back to 12:13:02

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

QMS's picture

@enhydra lutris

thanks for the vids
we watch the Decorah IA Eagles

https://www.raptorresource.org/birdcams/decorah-eagles/

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enhydra lutris's picture

@QMS

he brought in a coot (they'll obviously eat anything), and it was alive and escaped, so 2 iggles both going WTF?

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

studentofearth's picture

@enhydra lutris thanks for the vid.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

slave trade history in the south. The slaves knew what to do for peak harvest.

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waterworld rice fields.JPG

pretty much...

By rice fields - some in use, some not.

Picture is from the 2nd floor of my house - taken in June not long after rice planting and rainy season started. Water to flood the fields is from an irrigation system that brings it from the mountains 20 or 30 K to where I'm at on a coastal plain about one kilometer away from the ocean.

Soil is sandy here, so the rice fields are lined with some clay containing soil that makes them fairly impervious - the whole area is a reclaimed "tsu" (the tsu of tsunami, nami means wave) - basically, a tidal wetland. Quite a range of critters seem adapted to the setup - lots of frogs (two different species) that survive despite the paddies being tilled twice or more a year. Also, turtles, crabs, blue herons, egrets, pheasants, shrikes, ducks... Right now carp are spawning in the drainage canal/"river" that drains the area.

Farmland here is available pretty much for just maintaining it, but rice farming requires more equipment-wise than the small-scale vegetable/fruit/grain growing that I do. Used equipment is cheap though, too. Missed a chance at a decent tractor for less than a grand a few months back.

Even though farmland is nominally protected here - and only those officially designated farmers can directly own farmland - it is still being lost to development, city basically wants the tax revenue. Kind of monumentally stupid when Japan is importing something like 70% of its food...

Rice farmers in my immediate area do use some death chemicals - they spray the rice once a year (it's multiple times that in some of the major rice growing areas) and a lot more of them now use herbicides on the field margins than they did which I first came here. Some do still trim them with power trimmers, but a lot of farmers are old and weed whacking is physically demanding. Just walking through a flooded field is a pretty good workout.

Have lots of pics but not much energy at the moment to go through and get them under the size limit.

Here are the resident froggies, though.

"Amagaeru" (Hyla chinensis) in its default green color - they go through tadpole stage in the rice fields, and are active there at night, but like to hang out elsewhere during the day - this one's on an artichoke leaf. The wikipedia link doesn't mention it occurring in Japan, but the kanji are the same - just means "rain frog" so I'm sure it's the same...

Garden Froggie (amagaeru).JPG

Same species in camo mode - they can't change as quickly as a chameleon, but can do a range of color and pattern changes to blend with their background over an hour or so.

Camo frog (amagaeru).JPG

Don't have good pics of the other kind, "Tonosamagaeru" (Pelophylax nigromaculatus)which much bigger, more land oriented as adults. I dig hibernating ones up occasionally in the spring time, so they may not hibernate in the paddies. Didn't know till reading the Wikipedia entry that they are hunted for food. Something to keep in mind if times get tough(er)...

Thanks for the rice history and all those recipes - I buy local brown rice and mix in some ground up Mexican/Indian corn meal and wheat berries (grow both of those) and cook on stove pot in a thick ceramic dedicated rice cooker pot. Nearly all Japanese, though, eat white rice cooked in automatic rice cookers.

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studentofearth's picture

It is not the same as using the CrockPot promoted in the 1970's here in USA.

The area outside your window is beautiful. Wildlife can thrive in cultivated area when managed with more traditional practices. Those paddies area a great example. Looking forward to reading more about your part of the world.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.