Thursday, January 21, 2010

Walking in Circles: Where Are We Going?

I don't want to think about it.

You might think I'm kidding, but it's true. For my regularly-scheduled-every-day-walk with Paulene (and with Linda until she moved) we always walked the same route every day. Sounds boring I suppose, but let me explain why it works for us:

1. We don't want to think about where we are going! Okay, now I'm repeating myself, but having to think and make decisions about where we are going is a huge distraction to our walking.

2. Instead of focusing on WHERE we are going, we would rather walk quickly, and enjoy the conversation with one another.

3. Walking the same routes lets us see changes in the neighborhood gardens through the seasons. We are serious gardeners and every new bloom along the pathway is worthy of our bright attention. We pass by some beautiful gardens and would hate to miss any of the action!

4. We know exactly how long our walk will take, and can plan the rest of our day accordingly.

5. People like to set their clocks by us. Well, maybe not, but I bet they almost could! Anyway, we do see a lot of the same people over and over and are recognized warmly.

6. We know where we will see the deer, and the bunnies, and the large litter of kittens that is growing up. We also know exactly where to get the best sunrise pictures!

7. We get to watch the progress of every landscape or construction project along our way.

8. Going the same way every day means we won't get lost. Honestly, I've walked these neighborhoods so many times that we wouldn't REALLY get lost, but there were times in the early days that we “strayed” off the beaten path and had to stop and get our bearings again! I repeat again: We just don't want to think about it!

These are the standard guidelines, but now I will tell you that every once in a great while, we plan to go somewhere else because there is something we both want to see that isn't along our normal way. Doing so will generally mess up our time table, so we schedule those kind of tours for days that we don't have anything pressing the rest of the morning.

Now, a recreational walk is a very different thing! That's the kind of walk I go on with my husband when time isn't an issue and we are in an exploring mood. We will sometimes drive to a “new” location, then get out of the car and wander until we have decided we've seen enough and it's time to go home. That's fun too, and when I am with him we never get lost. (Well, almost never. :)

This week we saw some amazing sunrises. I've been posting some pictures on my home blog Come What May and Love It, but here's one that hasn't been posted anywhere yet. I love those orange clouds with the blue sky. Wish you could have been there with us!

Now, since many of you have wondered, I'll tell you about my sprouted brown rice. The biggest reason I do it is that the nutritional content skyrockets when grain is allowed to sprout. It also becomes easier for the body to digest. Sprouting rice is very, very easy, even though it takes a couple of days. However, the "hands on" time is only minutes.

Here's what to do: Get a large jar and put one cup of dry brown rice in it. Fill it with water and walk away. You don't need to think about it again for the next 8-10 hours or so. You'll need to find some kind of strainer for the top of the jar. I use a piece of nylon net with a rubber band to hold it in place. After the soak period is over, drain the water and walk away.

I like to put my jar (it's actually an old flower vase) on it's side on a dish towell, with the end slightly elevated because I don't want to stand there waiting for the last drips to come out. Now every 4-5 hours or so, run more water into the jar, swish it around, and let it drain again. (I do not get up in the night to do this...I only do the rinsing during the day!)

After a couple of days you can look closely at the rice and see teeny tiny sprouts. It's ready to use! The sprouts in my photo are actually about a day overdue for cooking...I usually don't wait that long. At this point it can be put in the refrigerator and kept until you're ready to cook.

How do you cook it? Same as always, only use just a little less water, since the rice has already absorbed some in the soaking process. For this batch of rice, I add about 1 3/4 cup of water, then cook. (I use a cheap-o rice cooker.) Oh, another nice thing about sprouted brown rice is that it cooks a lot quicker than usual! My batch of rice makes about 3 cups, which I use over the next few days. And since I use so much of it, I start another batch going immediately. That's all there is to it. Really, you'll only spent a few minutes of hands on time to get this super nutritional rice for your meals. And it tastes so much better than plain old white rice!

Bonus! Here's something new I tried recently that I want to share: Kale Butter! I know, it sounds GROSS! But if you like PESTO, you'll like this. Here's the recipe:

1 bunch of kale, rinsed and chopped (throw away the spine)
1/2 cup walnuts (I used pecans)
1/2 cup water
2 T garlic
1 T lemon juice

Steam the kale for 5 minutes, until tender. Blend the cooked kale with the nuts and add 1/2 cup of the green water from the steaming. (I use my food processor.) Add seasonings to taste. Process till smooth.

I enjoy this spread inside a pita pocket, which is then stuffed with lettuce and anything else that sounds good. I especially like tomatoes with it, but when I took this photo yesterday I was out of tomatoes. Try it sometime! Kale is so very nutritious but it's hard to find a good way to use's a new way I bet you never thought of before. :)

See you next Thursday!


Kathy Haynie said...

Ooh, I love the look of both of these recipes. Thank you, Dorothy! For the Kale Butter, when it says to "blend the cooked kale with the nuts..." is that in a blender? Or just mixed up?

Katie said...

1. That is a really pretty picture. Ans Sarah and I usually go the same route too. One added bonus for us in doing the same route is that we can feel our bodies getting stronger/our endurance build as the hills get a little easier each time.
2. Sprouting brown rice looks so easy! But I have a couple of questions. First of all, how long is it good for in the fridge? Do you keep it in tuperware or something? And, I know this is totally immature of me, but... it reminds me of having weavels in rice. It's not like that, is it?
3. That kale butter looks really good and super easy. Do you know how long that lasts for?

Thanks for all the great info!

Dorothy said...

Kathy, I updated my post to add that I use my food processor to "blend" the Kale butter. Thanks for pointing that out. I've seen other recipes for this, too, and people sometimes add a little olive oil or even parmesan to make it even more like Pesto. But this way is quite tasty as it is!

Katie....Weavels??? My, what an imagination! Okay, I'll give you that the tiny sprouts "might" look a little like antennae...:)

Anyway, the important thing about refrigerating sprouts before cooking is that they need to be dried out somewhat. It's just produce after all, and the wetter it is the quicker it will get slimey. I would think any kind of container would work well. Mine always get cooked right away, so I've not tested the "how long will it last" theories.

The Kale was steamed first, so it will last a week or so. I would think that you could use your sense of smell to know if it were still good. My batch isn't going to last long enough to worry about it. :) It could also be frozen.

Dorothy said...

I forgot to answer your other question, Katie: the rice cooks up nicely and you don't even see the "antennae" any more. It's just like eating regular brown rice, only better. :)

Katie said...

Dorothy- Thanks for the answers. And sorry to bring up weavels. I just had a bad experience once, so anything "weird" about rice makes me worried. But you have calmed my fears. And I have decided that I am totally going to try this.

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