Pasta Water

Are you still reminded not to throw away rice water (or the rice washing instead). Nutrients are thrown away with the water every rinse. It is best to save them and use for soup or for any soupy dish. Tinola, bulanglang and sopas.

On the other hand. Soupy dish is not always provided every meal. If saved, those water gonna file up and end spoiling. In reality, rice water is automatically thrown down to sink. Two to three washes for average household. Restaurant setting washes rice until water is close to clear. A considerable amount of loss.

If you are confident and not delicate, you may opt not to wash and save some nutrients. Washing fortified rice is not recommended though. It may render the fortification null and void. Think about it. Nutrients of any sort may only be superficially added. Water is going to carry them away.

Now let us go to pasta issue. No need to explain but I will. Pasta water is the liquid used to wash pasta sticks clean. The norm is throw them away but some says don’t.

Why?

Pasta is basically made of starch. When forming strands, starch is again added to prevent sticks from sticking together. It is normal for pasta to have some starchy powder when sold. These are washed off during preparation for cooking. Experts say not to throw it away. Use it to make sauce.

The reason?

They said it makes it more delicious. Maybe some flavor is added to surface as powder. Or, maybe not.

Another reason lies within starch emulsifying power. When sauce is added to cooked pasta, oil tend to separate and become visible. Not very appealing specially to health conscious individuals. These can be prevented if the water used to rinse the strands is set aside to make sauce. The starch will bind oil and water together resulting to more consistent and appealing appearance.

Don’t worry so much about this. Adding a bit of cornstarch to sauce is an easy option.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

The Electric Water Kettle

How this thing works? It is electric water boiler. It is obvious that it converts electric energy to heat making water increase in temperature until it reaches 100 degree Celsius. That is not my question though. What I want to know is how can it shut off itself after reaching that point. Chance of micro-controller to detect temperature is very slim.

electric water kettle top view

I first got curious about electric rice cooker a long time ago. I came to know that it uses weight as shut off mechanism. It has built-in weight sensor to monitor. It will keep heating until all water in mixture are evaporated. Then turn off the switch when the weight changes become insignificant.

Thanks to this invention. We can set it and forget it. Do other more useful jobs without worrying that our rice will get burnt or get under-cooked. Rather watched our favorite movie without interruption, or go to neighbor for three hours, to gossip.

Rice cooker can also be used for other dish, as long as it contain reasonable amount of water. Not for frying and broiling of course. Can be used to boil plain water and prepare coffee.

However, leaving it unattended is a no no. It will keep boiling to dryness. A water kettle equipped with a whistle fits the purpose. It will alert you like an alarm when running boil is reached.

There is another useful device for this. The electric water boiler with a auto shut off feature. It is cheap. I am sure you can afford it. It uses electricity but only use enough to boil what is needed. No keep hot function like air pot and hot/cold water dispenser.

I also got curious with this little contraption. However, not enough to break it open. My wife will surely got angry. She always do whenever I bought gadget only to break open.

A short observation. The device shuts off itself upon reaching running boil. The switch fails triggering off when lid is open. When lid is closed and boiling at the same time, the switch can be pushed on but turns back off immediately after release.

I assume, the off button is triggered by water vapor pressure. Enough to push the device off when pressure builds up. No pressure is maintained if the lid is open.

Keeping the lid open allow us cook camote and eggs.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

More Accurate Way to Measure Rice Water

As I learnt from my parents and later from books. The amount of water should be in proportion with volume of rice. For example, one cup water should go with one cup rice before putting it over the flaming stove.
Note: Some need less while others need more. A bit adjustment maybe necessary with every rice batch purchased.
Specifically, this is how my parents thought me how to cook rice. Get rice using the improvised measuring container. Usually an empty medium can of evaporated milk or other thin can of comparable size.
Wash several times with generous water until the last washing is clear and no visible floating dirt.
Then here is how to add the right water volume.
Discard the last washing. Make the washed rice as flat as possible. Measure the depth with straightened palm. Finally, add water equivalent to that depth.
This method is fine for expert cook but too crude for newbie. It is a hit or miss technique that often misses. Before, mine would end up too wet, too dry, raw and rarely nicely done. I often chose the frying jobs to avoid mother’s anger.
The rice flatness when adding water is disturbed. The water measurement will be wrong when the palm is placed in shallow or deeper area.
The cauldron wall is not straight from bottom to rim. Obviously, equal thickness of rice and water above does not mean they are of equal volume.
Here are some tips that I like to share.
If you feel the rice at hand is clean enough. Measuring equal volume rice and water will do the trick.
If washing is necessary. Do the method mentioned above. Stir well. Drain water to separate container. Measure it. Get equivalent amount to be added back. Repeat until satisfied. This way, we have avoided the measurement guess work.  We have measured the right volumes and just replacing the loss water with every washing.
Use electric rice cooker whenever possible. I have never missed once with it. It is fast and energy saving. Contrary to what you have in mind. Yes, it gonna raise electric bill a bit but will save on gas and firewood. In addition, as soon as cooking is started, you can leave it and do other important tasks. Even watching TV and falling asleep is allowable.
If using firewood or LPG. Bear in mind that it should go into running boil as quickly as possible. Set the flame to high at the beginning and lowering gradually toward the end. Easier to do with lpg stove and a lot harder with wood fire. it is kind of erratic. Flame is hard to start. It will become to strong and suddenly to weak and extinguished.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

Examine This Water Vending Machine

I am not against this water vending machine. What I never like is the manner of implementation.

water venting machine

No protection against dust, dirt and other contaminants. At least, it should be enclosed with clear glass or acrylic. Window operable only when appropriate amount is dropped in coin slot. Then closed the rest of time.

The vending machine itself is fine if placed inside a well maintained convenience store, fast food or restaurant. But, this one is in the middle of jeepney terminal, beside busy road. Imagine the accumulation of smoke and dirt getting into it.

The water spout is stainless steel. However, it is not the type intended for food use. I am pretty sure it is a portion of window curtain rail.

Trash bag is right beside it. It is hung on refilled bottle storage. It never look right, it doesn’t feel right.

water and trash bag

A more hygienic implementation of water vending machine ca be seen here, “The Purified Water And Coffee Vendo Machines“.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

Ready Sterilized Bottled Water for Baby’s Milk

Are you on travel and forgot to bring sterilized water for baby’s milk, your reserve was depleted, or you are too lazy / too busy to do the hard work?

Good news for you! There is an instant for almost every item you need, and  a ready sterilized water for your baby milk preparation need is also available.

dr edwards sterilized drinking water 1

The label never tells it is intended for the purpose but the packaging is suggestive of.. Its shape really looks like a baby bottle and it has wide screw cap opening, seem fits perfectly with a nipple.

dr edwards sterilized drinking water 2

Dr. Edwards Sterilized Drinking water with FluoridePlus undergoes a medical grade sterilization. Each bottle is sealed with a triple-secure closure system for additional protection and safety. Fluoride is a popular ingredient of toothpaste. It prevents tooth decay.

To prepare, open the cap. Add the right amount of milk. Cap the nipple. Shake well. Voila! Your babies milk is ready.

Own point of views.

A distilled water will do but all the empty bottles should be sterilized prior to use.

The transfer of liquid from one container to another harbor contaminants.

The more the distilled water is opened and closed. The greater chance it can get harmful microorganisms.

You only need sterilized nipples and caps. You can leave all the canisters at home.

It saves time and effort. Safer but cost more.

Base on own experience, too much cleanliness is not good. Give your child a chance to develop its own immune system.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.