Eating Well on a Budget

Pulsegleaner

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By now, most of the pots on the patio are devoted to herbs, and probably will be in perpetuity given how many of them are perennial here. The giant Catmint comes back every year, so the cat is happy. The Cuban Oregano/Spanish Thyme needs to be re-planted each year, but that's no biggie (though I haven't actually used any this year, it grew super slow, and by the time it got to a size where I could take sprigs without killing it, most of the tomatoes were gone for the year. And the fact that makes it so great for cooking (that it is a succulent, and so can be juiced) means it's is hard to dry, and useless to freeze (it just turns into watery mush).

The Syrian oregano comes back every year, but given how strong it is, actually using it without overwhelming everything is hard.

The Cat Thyme is hard to decide if it is annual or perennial (it doesn't die totally over the winter, but tends to lose everything above ground level, and not have enough strength the next year to send out any new shoots of account.)

The Conehead Thyme needs to be re-done every year, but I may skip it next year until I am sure that my family actually LIKES the taste (we have a jar of dried "Hyssop Thyme" that they can use to test it out.

The Pine Rosemary makes it though each year, though it needs a good pruning in the spring to remove dead material.

The Egyptian mint is a bit complicated. It was growing like crazy when it was on the patio, but when we moved it into the ground, the gardeners pulled it all up. And the replacement plants don't seem to have really taken.
 

Pulsegleaner

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Oh and @ducks4you ,

I knew that Arkansas farmers grow rice but just learned that the state produces well over twice as much as California.

It all moves into a world market, of course. The US companies export and import rice (mostly from Mexico but also Thailand). LINK
Don't forget the growing market for native African rice as a niche food. That's the rice America started with (before Chinese and Indian rices arrived via Europe) and with that now being toted as being more nutritious, it would hardly surprise me if it made a comeback.

It surprised me more to know Charleston grows its own tea, and Louisiana its own sugarcane. With Florida or California lemons, I wonder how long it will be before some patriotically minded business person starts selling "All American Iced Tea" in bottles.
 

Pulsegleaner

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I understand that rice is also grown in South Carolina, but I think it is specialty rice.
I think the Carolina Golden Rice is Arborio rice, a much prized rice found in Italy that Thomas Jefferson and a friend managed to smuggle to America in their coat pockets.
There actually IS something called Golden Rice, but that is very different. That's rice that has been genetically engineered to produce beta carotene, for use in places with high rice/low vegetable diets (like the poorer parts of Asia)
After that, you get into the "pseudo rices" like American Wild Rice (Zizania), Petty Rice (which is listed as another name for quinoa but I remember as being something else), hungry rice (an old name for fonio), Rajasthani Rice (actually a form of sandbur) and so on.


And of course, whatever that odd looking grass I grew about ten or so years ago is (the one whose seed head looks like someone took a head of Sicilian ryegrass and glued rice grains in the notches.)

I'd also like to see the proliferation of the deep black rice known as "forbidden rice" (since it was originally emperor consumption only.) That stuff is FULL of anthocyanins (so full, in fact that when we tried to use it, we wound up with paella the color of blueberry pie filling, and a cooking pot that would never be white inside again.)
 

Phaedra

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Talking about rice, one brand that is quite popular here in Germany is from California. Collecting and trying rices from different places is one of my odd habits.
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ducks4you

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Talking about rice, one brand that is quite popular here in Germany is from California. Collecting and trying rices from different places is one of my odd habits.
Of Course! You grew up in Asia and that is where many rice varieties were developed. The only rice specialty I make is rice pudding. I use my small crock pot, I do not rinse the rice bc I Want the gluten coating. I make this on a day when I may home and can keep an eye on it. When it turns into rice I add milk or 1/2 and 1/2 and sugar and eat on it for a few days, sometimes I add raisins and cinnamon, too.
DD is more of a rice connoisseur. She is picky how she makes it, uses different spices and recipes, and serves up some tasty rice based dishes.
 

flowerbug

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Of Course! You grew up in Asia and that is where many rice varieties were developed. The only rice specialty I make is rice pudding. I use my small crock pot, I do not rinse the rice bc I Want the gluten coating. I make this on a day when I may home and can keep an eye on it. When it turns into rice I add milk or 1/2 and 1/2 and sugar and eat on it for a few days, sometimes I add raisins and cinnamon, too.
DD is more of a rice connoisseur. She is picky how she makes it, uses different spices and recipes, and serves up some tasty rice based dishes.

i love a good rice pudding that is more like a custard version with plenty of nutmeg and raisins. cinnamon is ok too, but i can do without that if i have to. alas, Mom no longer eats nutmeg and won't make the version of rice pudding i remember from childhood that i liked so much. i've tried to recreate it myself a few times but no exact luck with that yet. it's a slow process when i can't make it very often. i have to eat white rice in small amounts...
 
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