Delicious Recipes And Food Stories: Jubilee Rice

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A rice salad recipe and a story of food and love by Mirna Santana

Rice salad recipe:

· 1 lb of Lundeberg Jubilee rice (~2 1/2 cups). Jubilee rice is a gourmet blend of several varieties of brown rice for a colorful mix.

· Double the amount of water, and add a bit more when the rice is drying (5 cups).

· 1 carrot peeled and grated medium or coarse

· 2 finely chopped green onions (~1 inch)

· 2 finely chopped scallions

· 1 finely chopped garlic clove

· Vegetable oil

· 2 table spoons of olive oil (when the rice is done)

· Mix of 3 peppers: cayenne + black pepper + dark sugar (sprinkle)

· Salt (sprinkle to taste or use 1/3 teaspoon)

· Amino acid blend or soy sauce (2 table spoon)

· 2 tablespoon of sesame oil (when the rice is done)

· Rosemary leaves

· Fennel

In a non-stick pot fry the garlic and scallions until they are golden. Add the carrots and continue frying at low heat for 2 minutes. Take the veggies out and place them in a small glass cup. Fry the rice in the same oil until it is golden. Add double the amount of water (~5 cups). Sprinkle some salt and stir. Cover the rice and let it cook at medium temperature. I set my Preston multi-cooker to 300°F (148°C) for 40min. Lower the temperature when the rice is drying. If the rice does not look completely soft, add 1/3 cup of water to moist it and let it cook for 10 minutes. Once the rice is done add the oils (olive oil and sesame oil), amino acid blend or soy sauce, the mix of veggies, and the spices. Sprinkle the spices, pepper, rosemary and fennel. I add just a little of each kind of spices for flavor. It is best to serve this rice warm since it tends to dry if left at room temperature for a long period. Enjoy it!

Food sharing:

Today, many people are treating food as a political issue--and it is in many ways. Here, I however, I consider sharing food as part of what made us humans. Food sharing is part of our culture and of our personal stories. It is part of our family traditions. The way we see food, enjoy it, or experience it defines us as adults in many ways. By sharing food we are creating new mythologies and memories that make life worth living. As Joseph Campbell said "a myth is the dynamic of life.” A myth may be cooking stories inside our hearts.

There are many rice recipes but only one 'rice' with its multiple shapes and colors. Rice that is being cook in all sorts of ways, times and places. Rice is simple rice though our rice is more than that...it has become part of our stories.

You asked me for a story of rice. I proceed to make a story with its beginning, its middle and its end. The story started with the first man I loved. He taught me how to make rice. That man was my dad! I was 11 yrs old when he taught me to cook fried rice ornamented with tiny pieces of sweet red pepper. It happened to be his favorite rice! From that foundational recipe and from observing grandma, I created a rice book in my mind. As I recall she added coconut, fish, beans, annato, and other things to make her multiple rice trademarks! Recently, a close friend asked me to repeat ‘last year rice’…I gasped, how can I do that? All I recall is that I cook a wild rice mix. The voice of the ethnographer echoed in my ears “if it isn’t written, it did not exist!” So perhaps my last year rice never existed but in our minds.

I am still learning to cook with the same curiosity of my teen years. I experiment with new ingredients and I also modify other peoples' treasure recipes. Sometimes, I candidly adopt the favorite cooking tips of my dear friends. I cannot exactly reconstruct last year recipe but the ‘basic rice' is still here. The rice I learned from dad is saved in my long-term memory. My friend who asked for last year recipe reminded me of my scientist’s duty 'to keep the records' and 'to decode the mysteries.' The scientist that I am knows that the way of Latin American peoples is good for legends and stories like the ones grandpa told us, but not so good for systematic record keeping. Still, I confess that I almost always change my recipes. So the end of the story is that I wrote this for you. So you can cook a rice that I may never cook again...at least not in the same way. The version I hereby pass to you includes ‘the basic’, the one rice of many rices, the one I learned from my loved ones.


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Comments 2 comments

Mirna 6 years ago

Thanks to Dave from whom I got some guidance to improve my 'last year' recipe. I doubt my cooking will be ever the same because I keep integrating his blends 'secret formulas' and ideas into my creations. From him I have also learned a lot about the art of cooking & life!


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MSantana 6 years ago from Madison Wisconsin Author

This recipe is dedicated to people I loved and are no longer with us: grandma, grandpa,and dad. It goes too to the people that rekindle the joy of my life: my family and friends. With all of them I have shared the pleasures and struggles of cooking, but more so the joy of sharing good food. Mirna Santana

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