Monday, January 07, 2008

Can You Cook Brown Rice? and Trader Joe's

I shop at Trader Joe's for very specific items, many of which I could probably live without. One that I certainly will never buy is frozen brown rice. But while I was traveling one time, my husband shopped at TJs (that fact really surprised me) and bought frozen white rice for our particular child since my husband really doesn't cook and he rarely needs to.

There is a guy who works at TJs who works in the frozen food aisle. He knows me as the woman who is looking for the vegan items. He may actually know that I go by the name The Veggie Queen but he hasn't said so. There are others who work there that know that but...

Anyway, we had a discussion just the other day about how he felt lucky to work in the frozen aisle as he knows the area well. Jokingly, I said, "So when someone asks for the frozen whatever you know where they are." He said, "That's right. And if a product is out of stock, I know that, too."

"I bet that sometimes you can even tell them why the item isn't there," I added. Then he told me that the brown rice was out of stock. I think that he knew that it wouldn't affect me. We then had a discussion about what the world is coming to when people can't or don't take the time to make brown rice.

My suggestion was that when the brown rice is out of stock, they post a recipe right above where you'd normally find it in the freezer, along with a suggestion to go to the aisle where they sell rice and learn how to cook it. Cooking rice really isn't difficult, especially if you can boil water.

I know that a lot of people have rice cookers, and if you eat a lot of rice or don't want to take chances, then it may be a great appliance for you. You can even get one that is all stainless steel.

But if you want to cook brown rice on top of the stove in a pan, put 2 cups water into a pot and bring it to a boil. Stir in 1 cup of rice, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and reduce the heat so that the water is just simmering. Let cook for 40 minutes without removing the lid or stirring. Take off the heat and let it sit for 5 more minutes, undisturbed. Then remove the lid, and stir in a pinch of salt, if you want to. You should have perfect rice.

Alternatively, you can cook brown rice in the pressure cooker by cooking at pressure for 22 minutes, and letting the pressure come down naturally.

And if you make extra rice, you can put it into containers or zippered bags and put them in the freezer. Then it won't matter if Trader Joe's frozen brown rice is out of stock.

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