Shaddup Already!


It's the little things in life.

Okay, so now I have fully entered the realm of adulthood because I was told I have high cholesterol. My solution to this? Go for a primarily vegetarian diet relying heavily on brown rice.

I like brown rice, it is chock-full of cholesterol reducing rice bran oil. Then there is the the whole fiber factor. And, when combined with beans (something I love--please keep the comments to yourself) it creates the perfect protein.

So I went to the store yesterday and bought myself a bag of brown rice, among other things. I have spent the last two days trying to figure out how to cook it without using my stove (I have an extremely limited supply of pots and pans) and without drying it out.

I followed the directions on the bag for microwave cooking. It said if you like drier rice, use less water, so I did. I got crunchy, crispy rice and not the kind brought to you by Snap, Crackle and Pop. I used some in my meal last night (the middle part was not so bad) and threw the rest away.

This morning I decided I would use the exact amount of water listed on the bag of rice. I microwaved for the full 45 minutes that were recommended. I retrieved my rice and found a solid block of brown rice. Nothing was salvagable out of this batch.

I was seriously considering investing in a rice cooker. However, I am trying to go against my Sagittarian ways and become more frugal. I already have a veggie steamer that can be used as a rice cooker (that I haven't used in years and have no idea how to cook rice in). So, no shopping for rice cookers, yet.

I did a few web searches and came up with the United States Rice Association's (yes, it really exists) recommendations for microwave cooking. It called for the same amount of water with 10 minutes less cooking time. Ah-ha!

I went to clean out my casserole dish that I was using to cook the rice in. I noticed that there were water marks all around the outside of the dish. It wasn't the cooking time, it wasn't the amount of water, it's that all the water boiled over.


I seemed to remember that my veggie steamer had cooking times and water amounts on the side. Certainly it would list rice there, right? It had to because I no longer have the owner's manual.

I had to search for the steamer as I prefer raw veggies anyway. I finally found it and pulled it down from it's very high hiding place. It was covered in dust and lacking the direction sticker that I clearly remember being on the front of it. Then I get inspiration, I'll turn it around. Voila! Cooking times and liquid amounts. I look up rice and it only has white rice.

I know enough about cooking rice to know that cooking brown rice is different from cooking white rice. Not much, but enough to make the difference between success and another failure. Excuse me, learning experience. (Note to self, make sure to get those bumper stickers out of old classroom--must have "Oh no! Not another learning experience" one)

I am pretty handy with internet searches, so I did a quick one for the steamer model I have. I was looking for the owner's manual online. The first 10 hits were trying to sell me my steamer. Uh, no thanks.

Then, I happened upon this. The clouds in the sky broke and a harmony of angels broke singing the "Halleluja Chorus." Okay, not really, they don't do that for pagans.

Now my steamer is drying because I washed it. I'm not a complete slob, you know. It's waiting for the rice and it bears the enormous weight of being my last chance at cooking rice before I have to go buy an expensive rice cooker or a new pot to cook rice in the only way I know how.

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