Thursday, February 21, 2008

Brown rice in the NY Times

Mark Bittman, who writes a column for the NY Times called the Minimalist, wrote a piece on brown rice this week. The website includes a 5 minute video of his method for cooking brown rice more quickly (one of the most common complaints about brown rice is that it takes 45 minutes to cook). Essentially he partially cooks it ahead of time, then finishes it off while preparing the rest of the meal. It's not really faster--the cooking is just broken down into two steps. Still, it could be useful when you need to make dinner quickly. Personally, I think it is easier to just cook extra when you have time and then reheat it in the microwave. Other people have told me that brown rice cooks very quickly in a pressure cooker--only 10 minutes!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Farming with Wildlife II

Here are some recent photos of wildlife on the farm. We had two weeks of stormy weather earlier this month, and had huge flocks of swans, ducks (mostly widgeon), and sandhill cranes that stayed on the farm. It was really fun to wake up and see the swans out of the kitchen window every morning. Not so much fun was chasing 300 geese out of our young wheat before they trampled and ate it all--one morning I went after them five times during a 90 minute period. I'd scare them up, and they would wait for me to leave and then go back to eat breakfast in the wheat. However, last week the weather turned sunny and warm, and most of the birds have left us again, on the way to their breeding grounds in Canada and Alaska. It's sad to see them go...

The photos are mostly swans, with some mudhens (coots) and a river otter thrown in.

Monday, February 18, 2008

brown rice sushi

I often tell people that our rice is extremely versatile--good for everything from risotto to sushi rolls, or just served plain. To put the rice to the test, some friends invited us over recently to try making California rolls. We're definitely amateurs, but they still turned out pretty well! You can read their account of the evening here. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Boulettes 2-9-2008

All the days of sitting through farmer's markets in the rain paid off yesterday! The sun came out for all three of our Saturday markets (Chico, Davis, and San Francisco), and we had a good day. I guess everyone was out of rice after all those rainy farmers markets. Here's the ingredient list for the delicious sample we were serving in San Francisco yesterday, as made by the wonderful Boulettes Larder:

Massa Organics brown rice
collard greens, chopped into strips
black and white sesame seeds
roasted garlic, minced
olive oil

Saute the collard in olive oil with the other ingredients, and add to the cooked rice. This dish got lots of positive comments from customers at the market. Enjoy!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Boulette's 2-2-08

From the Ferry Plaza farmers market on February 2:

Massa Organics brown rice
mixed nuts
olive oil
pink peppercorns

Drowning at the Markets

January was a tough month for those of us who sell our products at farmers markets here in Northern California. It seems like every single market we attended got rained on or blown out! We've lost money on several markets this past month, but I feel strongly that it is important to be there, even when the weather is bad. Our rice has a strong following now, and isn't widely available outside of farmers markets or our website. So, when someone needs rice and they expect us to be at a market, we need to be there. Besides, you never know who might walk by. For example, on a wet Tuesday in Berkeley a few weeks ago, we sold very little, and lost about $50 after paying the market fee and the salary of the guy who works the market for us. But, one bag of rice was sold to someone who loved it, and that person opened the door to a much larger account for us. Our new customer's first order totaled about $400 worth of rice, so really, that wet Tuesday doesn't look so bad after all!