I have to give a shout-out to the blogger at “Come And Make It“. He’s an American living in the Philippines, who writes about life there and its challenges. In the process, he often comes up with nuggets of useful information that can be really handy in the First World too. I don’t agree with all his views, but he frequently makes me think.
For example, his latest blog post is titled “Cooking Rice And Other Esoteric Prepper Subjects“. Here’s an excerpt.
One thing that I have learned the hard way, after living on the tropical island, is the subject of rice.
Parboiled, Arkansas, Jasmine, Basmati, Sushi, Calrose. There are so many damn rices out there. How the hell does a white boy summer choose?
So as a guy who has pretty much ate his way thru the rice eating world. From Stuttgart Arkansas, to Middle East to Philippines. This is the hard won education I shall impart to you.
Asians including the Indian subcontinent flavor ALL wash their rice before use.
This is two reasons. First of all, Asian rice is harvested and dried on the damn highway. As in ******* asphalt highway with cars driving over that **** at 65mph. So after the brown rice fresh outta the combine is dried, it goes thru the mill and comes out as white rice.
The funky bits of stones, asphalt, and whatever ******* gots to be washed out of your pot of food.
So enter the rice wash routine.
HOWEVR, even if your rice comes all esoteric organic ******* clean first worlds handling you still gotta wash that rice.
The reason being is that you are washing out the starch from the outer bits of the rice.
This is the starch that makes your rice taste mushy and like ****.
Wash it off. The Japanese will soak their rice overnight to get rid of that starch, leaving behind a lot more chewy protein.
Second of all. Acid… Japanese who have mastered the eating of rice to atomic physics levels, add in a bit of vinegar to their rice and the gourmets add in a bit of sugar too.
Acid will transform your ****** rice into something chewy and delicious. Not like American style rice that is basically chunky gravy bits of starch.
There’s more at the link.
He’s not joking about rice being dried on the highway, with trucks and cars driving over it. I’ve personally witnessed that in the Third World. If you look at the foreign, more esoteric brands of rice available in stores like Oriental food markets, just bear in mind, the odds are very good that it was dried in that way – and it may not have been adequately cleaned afterwards. His advice is worth following.
Another recent article was titled “Long Shelf Life Food Storage“.
Chest freezers are handy for storing long term. However not the things one would typically think about freezing. Rather your dry goods.
Living on the tropical island, I have had to store many dry goods in the freezer to keep ants out of it.
Things like Sugar, spices, boullion, cocoa powder, etc.
So I made a list of items that can have the shelf life extended indefinitely by putting in the freezer.
Also if your electricity does go out and you have taken care not to have frost build up in the freezer, likely you will not lose any food even for months of no power.
So here is my list, and it is not exhaustive, rather just to get your mind going.
dried chiles and chile flake
dried cured meats
dried diced onion
powdered juice drinks
dried fruits and veggies
chocolate (needs vacuum sealing also)
instant mashed potato flakes
skim milk powder
Many of these things should be vacuum packed and then probably overbag with mylar or wrapped in alum foil then vacuum packed to prevent odors from evaporating. Many volatile compounds in foods can and will evaporate thru plastic.
Again, more at the link.
In other blog posts he talks about the impact of monsoon rains, the trials and tribulations of running a small manufacturing business in the Third World, his experiences with solar power, bureaucratic inefficiency, institutionalized corruption, and a host of other topics that aren’t usually discussed outside that environment. It’s a useful perspective to understand how the vast majority of the world’s population lives.
If you haven’t looked at “Come And Make It” before, give it a try. You might enjoy it.