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Lesson 06. How to cook rices, grains, and cereals

This lesson will show you how to cook the various every-day grains and cereals. 

Cooking rice is easy. They cook essentially by being steamed in a pot with water. Since pot sizes and cooking temperatures vary from kitchen to kitchen, you need to study what works for you and write it down and follow your own procedure. Here's what you need to do to get to get to your own procedure.  

In general, cook 1 part rice to 2 parts tap water. (Add your salt at this time.) Often a 1 or 2  ratio of rice to water is not enough to make it tender enough for most people. If this is the case, you might need to add another cup of water, keep the pot covered, and on low heat to continue to steam it. This procedure is especially true when you are cooking a small amount. When you are cooking a small amount of rice, there's a small of amount of water being used. It will evaporate quickly. This will almost certainly leave it uncooked. Use more water than the typical 1 or 2 ratio of rice to water when cooking a small amount of rice. When all else fails, buy yourself a rice cooker. They have a magical way of cooking all grains to perfection. We highly recommend buying one. See all the ones I've bought under the Tools section. Thrift stores regularly have rice cookers on sale for a few dollars.

Cooking rices
  1. Pour water, salt, and rice in a pot. 
  2. Bring to a boil. 
  3. Stir briefly. 
  4. Cover and put on low heat. 
  5. Note time and turn heat off when you know the rice is cooked (based on your study of the process).
  6. If you’ve been a person who added butter to your rice, add a teaspoon or two of one of your favorite oils it's finished cooking. 
  7. Keep the lid on until you serve the rice. (It keeps cooking until all the heat is gone.) 

Cooking grains like whole wheat
1. Pour water and salt in a pot. 
2. Boil enough water for the initial part of the recipe and keep several cups of
hot water nearby to add to the whole wheat. Whole wheat and all the cereals tend to use lots of hot water and you need to have it ready to add as it thickens before it becomes rock hard as it cooks
3.Whisk or fork in the hot water.
3. Have lid nearby because as soon as you put the whole wheat into the water, it'll start to splatter. It can burn.
4. Turn heat way low.
5. Stir with a fork or whisk as you pour in the wheat.  
4. Stir to get out any clumps. 
5. Have hot water nearby to add to the whole wheat as it can become rock hard. Whisk or fork in the hot water.
5. Cover and put on low heat.
6. Stir occasionally until it's cooked which will take only a few minutes.
7. Take it off the heat when it's done cooking as it will burn the cooked grain.
6. Note time and turn heat off when you know the grain is cooked (based on your study of the process). 
7. If you’ve been a person who added butter to your grains, add an nice oil instead just after grain is finished cooking. 
8. Keep the lid on until you serve the grain. (It keeps cooking until all the heat is gone.) 

Toasting cereals like cream of wheat. Many dinners include toasted cream of wheat as the main ingredient. (See Oopma recipe for example.)
1. Pour cream of wheat into a dry pot or pan. 
2. Put on low heat. . 
3. Stir briefly to toast. 
4. Remove from heat. 
5. Cream of wheat is read to be used in recipes.

The basic rule for cooking cream of wheat (and cream of rice, etc.) whether it's been toasted or not. 

Cream of wheat cooks quickly – so much so that it turns into concrete quickly! You’ll need to have a whisk or a fork, hot water ready to use before you start cooking the cereal, and you must have a lid nearby to cover the cooking cereal so as to prevent burns. As soon as the water is in the pot with the cereal it'll start bubbling and splattering the hot cereal. Cover and turn heat way down stirring. 

Here’s the procedure: For every cup of cream of wheat, bring 1 ½ cups tap water to a boil. Add salt. Turn heat down to simmer. With the lid nearby, poor the cream of wheat slowly into the boiling water, whisking it in all the while (a fork can also be used if you don’t have a whisk). Just before you have the consistency you like, stop adding the cream of wheat because it will continue to thicken as it cooks. (Refrigerate any unused dry or toasted cream of wheat.) Cover. Check for consistency very often, stir so it won’t stick and burn to the bottom and adjust the consistency using the hot water. All this happens very quickly – a matter of 10 minutes or less. Remove from heat. Now you have cooked cream of wheat. Continue with the recipe.

This lesson is done. 
The basic rule for cook
ing grains and rice

Grains and rice need to be covered and steamed in order to cook. The general proportion of grains or rice to water is usually 1 to 2. When cooking rice or grains, put water, salt, and grains in a pot and bring to a boil. Then turn the heat down to a simmer. Cover the pot. Cook until all the water has evaporated. (Depending on your pot, it may take 15 to 20 minutes.)

Since pot sizes, and temperature is different in everyone's kitchen, steam and water escape from the pot at different rates. So the grains might not be getting the full amount of water and steam they need to cook thoroughly. Test your rice and grains for done-ness. If not done, add another part of water and continue cooking (steaming) on low with the lid on. Make a note of what it takes to get your rices and grains fully cooked in your kitchen on your stove with your pot.