Asking for Links/Thoughts/Advice on Rice

So I’ll be trying to eat rice in a few weeks, for the first time in a year and a half.

Everyone has a different opinion about rice. It’s one of those interesting grains that, even in the “traditional food preparation” groups, has multiple emphatic theories on the proper way to eat rice.

Now, life is short, and let’s face it: how we prepare rice isn’t really huge in the grand scheme of things. But I have “delicate” intestinal health, so I’m sort of hoping to ease back into rice as gently as possible. And I also have a history in Candida, so I’m trying not to maximize the starch I consume and the blood sugar I spike. I’ve noticed a distinct difference in my ability to digest grains in the past, using soaking techniques, so for me, it’s worth considering possibilities. 

Besides the “Eat whatever you want; we all die anyway. Caring about food is sinful.” mindset *ahem*, as I see it, there are the following main viewpoints on rice: 

(A) Brown rice is better for you. It’s a “whole grain” (unlike evil white rice, which is nutrition less).
(B) Well, actually, brown rice is evil for you, because the bran makes it hard to digest. But white rice is still evil, so eat basmati, because even though it’s white, it’s less evil than regular white.

(I parody.)

Under (A) there are subcategories as follows, as far as I know:
(1) Yes, eat brown rice, but don’t bother to soak it because it’s low in phytates anyway.
(2) Yes, eat brown rice, but do soak it because it’s difficult to digest.

And under (2) there is:
(a) Use typical soak in warm water for 12-24 hours. (Acid? I can’t remember.)
(b) Use an inoculant (like here: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2010/04/01/phytic-acid-in-rice-reduced-96-with-accelerated-fermentation/
(c) use germination (like here: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2010/03/31/germinated-brown-rice-has-the-u-n-finally-heard-nourishing-traditions-wisdom/

Whew! That’s sort of an exhausting set of possibilities!  My head is spinning. Well, not really. . . 

Anyway, up until this point I’ve always just done the quick and easy method of no preparation but also using brown rice, not white or basmati. White rice just makes me feel so over-starched (and my Candida-history does not need that, even if the starched feel is all mental *wink*), and I’ve only used basmati once or twice. I guess I’d have to be convinced it’s really worth the price difference. (Please try to convince me!) My husband and son do absolutely fine with brown rice as I currently make it, but Gretchen doesn’t always *ahem* completely digest it, *ahem* even though she loves the stuff and begs for it. And I really would like to gently reintroduce my own body to rice. 

So. . . that was a really long way of asking for advice. What is your rice philosophy? Don’t care? Brown all the way? Basmati? Do you prep brown rice a certain way? Throw me some links to prove that your way is “best”! I’m all ears!  

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Help Me Come Up With Names!

Nope. Not pregnant. (As far as I know.)

Nope. Not adopting. (At this point in time).

But I need help with names for new members of the family. Well, two of them have been around for a few months. One is a newbie this past week. See, besides feeding myself, husband, and two children, I have 3 other “pets” that I have to regularly feed and  care for in order to keep them alive and well. And I’ve been thinking that I really should give them names, since they’re such a part of our family. *warm fuzzies*

I’m talking about my kefir grains, my kombucha SCOBY, and my sourdough starter. (I refresh my yogurt with a new starter way too often- every 8 weeks or so – for my yogurt bacteria to count as a semi-permanent family member.) All three have their own specifications for care and feeding, and let’s face it: it would be tons more fun to say “I need to feed Fido” than “I need to feed my sourdough starter,” right? So I’ve decided that a-naming we shall go.

But I need help! I have lots of ideas swirling, but need opinions (which I reserve the right to ignore) and original ideas (which I reserve the right to use or discard at will). But first, meet my “pets”:

Here are my kefir grains, aka “Pet #1.” Technically plural, but we could refer to all of them singularly, as in “Fido.” Or we could go with a plural theme, something like “Hive Mind.” Actually, my current favorite option is calling them “IT.” Fans of Madeleine L’Engle should catch the reference. When not coated in cream, the kefir grains look kind of like translucent cauliflower which has slight resemblance to a brain. *grin*

Other facts about this pet: Pet #1 is number three in my succession of kefir grain colonies; I killed the other two, when I went off of dairy 2 years ago and 6 months ago, respectively. This batch comes from a friend in New England, but all kefir grains supposedly originated from the region of Russia or Georgia (the country, not the U.S. state). Pet #1 thrives in dairy products best, at room temperature. He/she/IT is also VERY easy-going when it comes to feeding. No fuss about heating or cooling, just plop him in a new milk bath and he’s good to go.

So what should I name him?

And now moving on. . .

Pet #2 (my kombucha SCOBY) is a pesky fella right now, not letting me turn him right-side up for some reason :-/. He also is kind of a loner, only liking to be cared for every 2 weeks or so. Maybe “Hermit” is a good name. He kind of looks like pond scum, but “pond scum” just doesn’t have that *feel good* name quality I’m searching to find. He originated from a rather boring source. . . a G.T. kombucha bottle from Whole Foods. But his origin further back is Russian. Maybe “Ivan the Terrible” or something shorter like “Boris” or “Dmitri” or “Ekaterina.” Thoughts? Suggestions? Petty comments on his disgusting looks?

And finally. . .

Pet #3 is my recent acquisition :-). He’s a sourdough starter. Most recently from my local CT friend, but my friend got Pet #3 from an internet site called “Carl’s Friends” in memory of some guy named (you guessed it) Carl who advocated the perpetuation of this sourdough starter. Originally, the starter supposedly came from the Oregon Trail, 1847, to be exact. So maybe something related to that could inspire a name. . .

Or we could go with names that don’t really describe the “pets” individually, but sound fun together. Like “Abel, Baker, and Charlie” (Andy Griffith fans, unite!), or a more well-known triumvirate like. . . yes, and that’s where my mind draws a blank. (Persons of the trinity would be downright irreverent and three stooges are NOT an option.)

So help! Come up with clever names for me! I can’t promise a reward, unless you want me to mail you (or locally deliver) parts of my pets, if you’re interested in kefir, kombucha, or sourdough, and need starter culture for any of them. If you come up with a winning trio of names I will happily provide pieces of my pets as prizes ;-).

And yes, I’m devoting way too much thought to all of this. So I’m off to feed Pet #3 and #2 for now. . . #1 is just fine and doesn’t currently need tending ;-).

Breakfast for Dinner (A New Tradition)

Adrian is pretty much the easiest guy to cook for. He’s appreciative and genuinely enjoys all sorts of foods, both standard American fare, and weird GAPS foods like coconut flour bread and squash soup. He’ll try anything once. He’s awesome. Except for one thing: he doesn’t like breakfast for dinner. I LOVE breakfast foods any time of day. So I’ve declared a new tradition that when Daddy is gone for dinner (which very rarely happens), we’ll have breakfast for dinner! Adrian wasn’t here for dinner tonight, so we had:

scrambled eggs
homemade sausage patties
fried apples (sauteed apples in butter, with honey and cinnamon)
french toast (for Hans and my parents, who are visiting – no grains for me)
sloppy lentils and herbed kefir (I had to supplement my non-grain meal somehow!)

Sound Bites from Independence Day Lunch

Hans: “Ooh, is that a biscuit? This is a biscuit, Mommy, right?”
Me: “No, it’s a hamburger bun. You put a hamburger in it.”
Adrian: “And cheese, you put cheese in it too!”

Hans gave us these skeptical looks to decide if we were pulling his leg or not. “No. You don’t put cheese in it!”

Haha. Oh my poor deprived child ;-). . . it had been last summer (I am pretty sure) since he had a real assembled hamburger. . . (It was a fast food one last summer. Shhhh!) *laughs* He kept saying “This is good!” with his first several bites. Ah, the amusements of going grain-free. . . the kid can identify kombucha and kefir, but doesn’t have a clue how a hamburger is supposed to be consumed. . . He thoroughly enjoyed his hamburger complete with ketchup and cheese product.

Also from lunch. . .

Hans, pointing: “What’s this?”
Me: “That’s American ‘cheese.’ People think it’s food. We’re eating fake food today so we can feel all American. Americans like fake food, and today we’re celebrating America by eating fake food.”
Hans: “Yeah!” (with voice tone of agreement)
I started laughing.
Hans: “You’re funny, Mommy!”
Adrian: “You don’t have to listen to everything your mother says. This is called ‘propoganda’.”

Menu for Independence Day lunch:
Hamburgers
Hamburger topping options: American “cheese,” lettuce, lacto-fermented ketchup, store-bought buns
Sloppy Lentils (similar to baked beans)
Homemade applesauce
Potato chips
Lacto-fermented dilly carrot sticks

We were at home, by ourselves, folks. Otherwise I wouldn’t have been mocking American “food” ;-). I only do that in public when it’s my own food offering I’m mocking (which is why I feel free to blog about it here). And of course I couldn’t eat all of the above. I ate the GAPS-legal stuff and let the hubby and boy indulge in the other items ;-). And now Hans knows how he’s really supposed to eat a hamburger ;-).

GAPS-unfriendly birthday cake for my son (contains grain, sugar, etc. ;-D)

My son turned 3 today. Happy birthday, Hans! To celebrate I made a chocolate cake with strawberry trim, using this recipe. Definitely not something I was able partake of, but it was enjoyed by Hans et co :-). It was VERY hard not to taste test!

Sorry for the Silence. . .

I’m still here. The computer situation is still a bit unusual. We finally have a new computer, after a month without, but now we have no files and I can’t figure out how to download new pictures to our new computer. . . the settings are different. And Sister Dear thinks that it’s an abomination to post recipes without pictures ;-), so. . . We will hopefully have files back within a week, and hopefully I can figure out the new computer and find time to post :-). Meanwhile, toodles.

Chocolate??? YES!

I’m feeling the wind whipping as I rise on these new wings of freedom that I find myself with.  Cookies and now…

Chocolate!

And the making of said chocolate was encouraged by Dr Sister Dear!  (kind of?)

I’m definitely taking some morsels with me this summer.  Chocolate is as necessary to graduate students as pencil and paper, right?  It was hard thinking of making it through classes and exams without it!

I mixed in a generous amount of granola before freezing, as you can see in the photo.  A great addition!  SO GOOD.  Rich.  Just a small bit is satisfying.  I also added just a touch more honey.

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