Sunday, June 17, 2012

Bulk rice is nice

Filling bag from bulk rice bin at Ray's Food Place in Clearlake
Filling bag from bulk rice bin at Ray’s Food Place in Clearlake
The two best decisions my family ever made were for me to commute by bus to work and for Jonathan and me to cease purchasing single-serving bottled water and refill from the tap (or water crock) instead.

This year, Jonathan and I decided to make a third change in our daily consumer habits. Instead of purchasing pre-packaged rice with seasoning, we decided to buy rice in bulk.

organic rice in bulk bins
Organic rice in bulk bins
Rice is a mainstay of my diet, up there with macaroni and cheese. I thought preparation from bulk was a skill that I could master.

At grocery stores, we discovered bins with wonderful organic varieties: wild-blend rice and short- and long-grain brown.

Burning eyes notwithstanding, I watched Jonathan prepare an onion. Removing the ends and slicing off a wedge appeared similar in practice to slicing a loaf of bread. Next step: dice and put into a pan to fry.

I was similarly able to grasp pulping a clove of garlic to free it from the skin and then dicing it, adding it to the nearly-finished garlic for later addition to the rice.

Boiling the rice in water with seasoning added to taste, utilized a school of cooking I have depended upon for years.

End result: I had a savory rice dish every bit as good as the pre-packaged rice we had previously bought in stores, but minus the additional packaging.

We do fill plastic bags from the bins, but I think a way around that may be having the deli measure the tare-weight of a container that we bring from home.

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