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garlic
gomasio
iron pots
onions
rice

How I peel an onion:
Using a heavy, sharp knife, I cut 1/4" off both ends. I then peel the unwanted layers with my fingernails.
Very important: Stretch you hands out in front of your because if you do it under you eyes, they will burn and tear.

Another method is to only cut a bit off the flowering end and then peal off the unwanted layers. With the root end holding it together, criss-cross with vertical and then horizontal cuts (starting at the flowering end). This offers a tidy way of slicing and dicing.

How I cook rice:
Since I live in a temperate zone, I switch back and forth between short and long-grain rices during summer and winter respectively.

I usually cook one pint at a time by putting the rice in a strainer and shaking it around to get the "dust" out. If I notice more than just a few husks I exchange it for another crop. I then rinse the rice in the strainer under cold water. Using a covered stainless steel pot, I add double the amount of water (one pint of rice, two pints of water). If I see any floating objects, they get removed with a small strainer. After adding a good pinch of sea salt (I also add Shitaki or wild mushrooms that I've picked and dried) and quickly bring to a boil. At that point I lower the heat so that it boils very slowly until all the water is just about gone. I then add some olive oil (not too much), and it's ready to eat. I usually sprinkle some gomasio over the dish. Mmmmm!

Long-grain rice seems to cook faster so I use a bit less water, like one and seven-eights cups to one cup of rice. I also add fresh chopped garlic (two good-sized cloves), an inch of fresh ginger, and a clump of parsley to the rice dish.

I sometimes cook rice and adzuki beans together using the same procedure. Works like a charm.

Garlic
Frustrated with "opening" garlic? I continue to be, but have found that it helps to split up the cloves. It seems that the sooner they have a chance to dry, the easier it is to remove the hulks (skins).

NEW! Actually, torque is the key. By firmly holding the ends of the clove and twisting in opposite directions, you should be able to hear the skin snapping. After that, it's usually a cinch to peel the skin off. The bigger cloves take more strength, and smaller cloves require sensitivity to avoid breakage.

Re-seasoning Iron Pots
If your iron pot has rusted, here's the procedure to re-season it:

1. Scrub the rust off with steel wool.
2. Immediately put pot on medium heat to dry it before it can oxidize.
3. Rub pot vigorously with walnut oil until it becomes shiny, using piece of heavy brown paper bag (be careful not to get burned).
4. Wipe off excess oil.
5. Bake in oven 1 hour at 350° until oil is no longer tacky.




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