When my pal Jill and I went to the ocean for a writing retreat I promised her homemade chicken soup. I make a mean chicken soup and this one was going to be extra fabulous as I was adding organic brown rice. Thinking to be both health and savings conscious I had purchased a big bag at my local warehouse store. It came in this really cool burlap bag, which I figured I could re-use later for ... something. And inside that bag the rice was sealed up in plastic. So, with the utmost trust, I took out a cupful and dumped it into the pot. Hurry, hurry, hurry. Have to get this soup done and cooled before we leave.
Our first night there was a perfect soup night. We had a storm complete with waves crashing on the jetty, putting on a real show. I flipped on the fake fireplace. Then I whipped out my homemade rolls and heated the soup and served it.
And, what a shock. There was a teeny weenie little bug floating in my soup. Eeew. Okay, one bug. Pick it out and eat. Don't be a sissy.
Hmmm. Another spoonful of soup produced another bug. And, what was this? Another? Careful inspection showed that my soup had quite a few bits of bug protein floating in it. EEEW!!!
Needless to say, little Sheila didn't finish her soup. I had to toss the whole batch. And, as we sat playing food detective, there was really only one logical conclusion to come to: it had to be the rice.
Sure enough, I got home and checked my big bag of imported bargain rice and there were the bugs. EEEW! And one of them was still alive. Double EEEW! Needless to say, the rice got returned and I don't think I'm taking another chance on imported organic rice from India ever again. I don't care how cool the bag is. There is a lot to be said for buying American.
So, here is our number one cooking lesson for the day:Check your ingredients carefully before dumping them willie-nillie into a pot (especially when you've just brought them home from the store). I've been cooking long enough to know that. I've definitely re-learned my lesson!