Anyone know how to put rice to bed? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I've been accumulating rice because the idea of grinding wheat into flour or otherwise having to process it sounds like more trouble than I'll care to deal with if things really get ugly. Besides, probably at least half the world's population eats rice every day and has likely never even tasted wheat, so it's apparently possible to do without wheat if necessary. I also thought rice would be a good choice because it takes very little time and fuel to cook, especially if you use a method called "putting rice to bed," which I've read about both on the web and in a book called "Living More with Less." Unfortunately, I tried it today for the first time and all I ended up with was soggy half-cooked rice. I used brown rice, which may have been the problem, since it takes longer to cook than white rice. I brought the rice and the water to a boil on top of the stove, put the lid on the pan, and then transferred the pan to a large cardboard box filled with crumpled newspaper, placed a thick beach towel over the top of the pan, and laid another beach towel across the top of the whole box. I checked on it an hour later, and found that it was definitely not done. So I brought it to a boil again, put it back in the box, and left it alone for two or three hours. Still no luck.

Has anyone ever done this before who might be able to tell me what I did wrong? I'd really like to master this since I expect fuel to be in short supply next year.

-- Pam G. (, January 18, 1999


Why not just purchase a pressure cooker for $30?

-- Barak (, January 18, 1999.

First of all brown rice has alot of oil in it and won't keep very long so for extended storage you'll need white rice. Also you might want to check on the protein content of rice compared to wheat. What I did is go to a health food store and buy the wheat in 50 lb bags. Purchase food grade buckets and oxygen absorbers, my cost for 45lbs was about 22.00 that compares to a cost of 37.00 shiped in from a wheat retailer. I do have rice stored however wheat can be sprouted to give you the greens you'll need. Sorry I can't be of more help! Tman.

-- Tman (, January 18, 1999.

I wonder if this is a little bit like the bean cooking technique:

You bring the beans and water to a boil for about 3 minutes, then you let it soak overnight. (part of making beans ready to eat is the re-hydrating part), then the next day you cook the beans.

I have to think this would help rice to expand and soften up - then you just heat it up again?

By the way, Has anyone ever tried sprouting rice? How long does it take?

Rice is especially good for people with blood type "o", or so I heard. Seems they don't digest large amounts of wheat properly - not an allergy exactly - but most of it just passes through without giving up its nutrition in their gut....

-- Berry (, January 18, 1999.

As long as we're on the rice topic, I have a question.

I'm buying white rice in 20 lb plastic bags. As long as I don't actually open the bags, is there any chance of bug infestation? I've heard that bugs can get into a plastic bag, but maybe I heard wrong. Hope so. (On the other hand, it's protein.... yuuuccchhh.)

-- pass the grubs (, January 18, 1999.

Pass the grubs...

One sure way to avoid infestation is to loook for obvious breaks in the bag beforehand and then store the rice in an airtight, bugless container. Those big picnic coolers work great for fifty pounds each.

-- (passn', January 18, 1999.

Put the rice in the bag in a big zip lock and toss it in you freezer for 2 days. No more bugs. Invest a few bucks for 5 or 6 gal. buckets they are worth it.

-- Bill (, January 18, 1999.

I guess this is a good time to bring up the "Rice in a Thermos" method. I think I got it from one of Cory Hamasaki's posts. I tried it with good result. Boil 2 cups of water and place into a wide mouth thermos with one cup of white rice. Screw down the top and wait for 20 minutes. Voila perfect rice. My best result was with 1 1/2 cups of water but I like the rice a little more firm than most folks. Also helps if you heat up the thermos with hot water before putting it all together. just put some of the water that is boiling into the thermos for a bit, pour it back into the boiling pan till you get a good rolling boil and then do the trick. It sure cuts down on the fuel consumption. Another fuel saver would be to use 5 minute rice.

Bill in South Carolina

-- Bill Solorzano (, January 18, 1999.

As I understand, because rice is grown in water, rice already has some buggies living in it when you buy the bag of rice (or eggs for baby buggies). I would think that if you use the freezing method, you should do as was suggested for wheat in another post: freeze for a week, thaw for a month, then freeze for another week and pkg in a plastic bucket with oxygen absorbers. BTW, does anyone know a good place to buy oxygen absorbers?


-- jhollander (, January 19, 1999.

Many moons ago I did a Chinese cooking course. Rice was done this way whether brown or white.

Wash the rice in cold water until the water runs clear. Put rice in a pot, (saucepan) cover with cold water to the depth of one finger joint. Bring the water to the boil, watch the rice carefully from here until sealed by the pot lid coming up. Stir once or twice to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Turn the heat down to simmer.

Keep the water at a slow boil until the water level drops to the rice level. Numerous craters form in the rice surface just prior to this point.

Cover with a clean cotton teatowel. Put a tight fitting lid over the tea towel. Leave aside for between five and ten minutes depending on the amount of rice.

Rice should be cooked and not tacky.

-- Bob Barbour (, January 19, 1999.

When you use a measure to cook washed rice in an electric rice cooker, for fluffy Asian style cooked white rice, you add 50 percent more water than the volume of uncooked rice. Thus 2 cups rice needs 3 cups water. The rice must be rinsed first in AT LEAST two rinses of water before cooking, then drained and fresh water added. What you are trying to do used to be called "hay box cooking" in the Boy Scouts. You can use crumpled newspapers if you do not have hay; either makes a good insulator... Get a large wooden or cardboard box big enough for your cook-pot (kettle to you Yanks, a billy or a dixie to Aussies and Brits) with several inches of packing space all around. Pack maybe 4 inches of tight straw or paper on bottom of box. Add cook pot, then pack more straw/newspaper tightly all around its sides. Lastly create a top layer of insulation, which can be a cushion or may be straw/paper somehow attached to the box lid if you can. But the pot must be surrounded by several inches of TIGHTLY packed material. Bring food to vigorous boil for a few minutes and transfer to your hay box. Close lid tightly. Leave it for SIX HOURS or more. This allows you to cook, say, real/raw porridge (oatmeal) overnight for breakfast, or else put on a stew for the evening meal, then be away from camp all day to return that night to a hot cooked meal. You cannot overcook or burn food this way, because the temparature is dropping lower all the time... If your insulation design is good, it will only lose its heat very slowly. It really does conserve fuel. Of course modern equivalent would be a wide-lipped vacuum flask, if you can find one big enough, or maybe even a polystyrene insulated container. You could even try using that builders foam-in-a-can that is sold in hardware stores for filling gaps in window frames and the like. No, I haven't tried it.

-- David Harvey (, January 19, 1999.

One warm California day I opened a package of dried figs and proceeded to eat about half the figs. They tasted great but when I put my glasses on I noticed the figs had a life of their own. On closer examination I noticed they where infested with maggots. Didn't taste bad, just didn't look all that good. Point is that bugs can be inside the plastic container and you just have to deal with it. I am buying beans etc. in small bag quantities and storing them in sealed containers.

-- Mark Hillyard (, January 19, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ