Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What Have You Been Up To?

Well, I have been a busy bee!  Job responsibilities have called the illustrious Mr. Flavius away from home this week- so it is just me and the brood.  I thought we would take advantage of his absence to dive whole hog into Sally Fallon's fascinating cookbook, Nourishing Traditions.  Little did I know I would be transported away on cultured dairy dreams and whole food fantasies.

This weekend we experimented with making our own quark, crème fraiche, chicken stock, and I broke down and bought raw milk.  Huzzy's only been gone two days and I'm starting a milk co-op!  What the heck, Svetlana!  This isn't your speed!  What's come over you?

Good question.  5 out of 6 Motherworks-Flavius progeny agree: they love spinach and brown rice.  E. has an ear infection and couldn't be reached for comment.  Heretofore, brown rice has been known to start riots in this home.  Children grow weepy at the very mention of a future meal that portends the hulled seed of Oryza sativa.  Bellies have gone unfilled, unsated, and unhappy up the stairs to face the long night after supper with the perfidious substance Mother dared call rice.  So how did I do it you say?  Butter.  Seriously.  Butter.  I can hardly believe it myself.  Also one other thing.  To my 1½ cups of Lundsberg short grain brown rice, I added ¼ cup of Jasmine basmati.  This turns out to be the stroke of genius.

Once upon a time when little men wore wide brimmed hats, that shone the rays of the sun that were reflected in more-than-oriental splendour, and painstakingly harvest their families crop of rice.  They had to thresh the rice to free it from the stalk of grass that held it captive, by means of rake, basket, and wind.  As it just so happens, not all of those lovely vitamin rich husks remained on the grain and so it was not uncommon for a small percentage of a traditional rice farmers diet to consist of brown rice with a much smaller percentage of white rice therein.  Or at least, so sayeth Macrobiotic guru, George Ohsawa, anyway.  So I tried it.  And guess what?  Can you say perfect compromise?  I thought you could.  I cooked it the same way I always do, but I made certain to add a bit o' butter and loving spoon of sea salt to the mix before I popped it in the oven!

Wait, have you not heard about letting your oven cook that tricky rice?  It's so foolproof Cook's Illustrated made that the name:  Foolproof Oven Baked Brown Rice.

Here is the Motherworks variation  (the basmati lends beautiful flavor, perfume, and texture to this otherwise dicey side dish):

The Motherworks Conversion

1¼ cups  Lundberg's organic short brown rice
¼ cup  basmati rice
2½ cups  boiling water or broth
½ teaspoon  fine sea salt
2-3 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Place everything in a lidded casserole dish or a pyrex dish with two layers of foil.  Bake for 1 hour.  remove from heat.  Fluff with a fork and watch your kids eat it and ask for seconds.

I am currently investigating how to make Smaltz.  I let you know what I find out.  In the meantime, what have you been up to?


GretchenJoanna said...

I have been enjoying all your posts, but this one is the best for me, because I love rice, and it is something I can still make often and in quantity and see it eaten, unlike all the other nourishing traditions I used to have strewn about my kitchen before that particular book was written, when I had a big family to eat it all (sigh). It was fun! You capture the chaotic, lively and lovely feeling of this homey cooking style.

Svetlana said...

Thank you for all your comments. They are really encouraging. I'll post again soon, promise.