Sunday, October 17, 2021

A Post About Rice

Confession. I've been struggling somewhat to write lately. 

I have a whole list of ideas that I want to write about, including many bullet points on each topic with the information I want to cover, and yet when I go to write the post, it doesn't flow well. Or I have to pull teeth to get myself to even open up the page, let alone to actually write. And part of the issue is my pressuring myself that it has to be perfect, that whatever I write and share here has to be Quality with a capital Q, because that is what you come here to read, and I can't write anything less than perfect. Which, quite obviously, puts a lot of pressure and stress on myself, and I don't do well under stress. I run away from stress or have my brain get fuzzy, or like I'm seeing, hearing, and experiencing the world from under water. And, honestly, is happening now as I write this. But I'm trying to not let this overtake me and have me minimize the screen and go move on to something else as my brain is telling me. "You're not good enough, no one wants to read what you have to say unless you elucidate something extremely profound that no one ever did until now, and even then maybe not." Yea, that self-doubt voice that I'm dealing with all the time. (Yay depression and anxiety).

But I decided to go ahead anyhow and tell the haters (in my brain) that they can just shut up and go away, and I'll write this post even if it isn't the most perfect, sublime, original post I ever wrote.

We are big rice eaters in my family. It is something that I make at least once or twice a week and when I do, its about 3 to 4 cups of raw rice each time. 

I've written before plenty of times about my stockpile, but what I haven't shared is the current state of it. My back has been so painful lately and one of the things that hurts most is bending down/leaning forward. My stockpile is under my stairs, and when you enter the area where it is kept, there is a section where you can stand straight up, but as you go deeper into it, you have to bend further down. Lately when I have done shopping I've been asking my kids to put things under the stairs (how we refer to the stockpile in my house) and my kids have been, well, kids. They put things "under the stairs" and often just in the shopping bags on the floor. So in addition to the hazard on the floor caused by some loved ones, there are also some things that were put further back in the stockpile area, in the section that you have to bend over to reach, put there at a time when my back wasn't hurting as much and I could actually do that to access foods there.

I know, weird segue there but it has a purpose.

Big rice eaters, as I mentioned. I always keep rice on hand in my house, because, you know, rice is the staple of life and all that. Especially when mom doesn't eat gluten. I buy rice on sale whenever I can find it, especially basmati rice because that is our family's favorite type of rice and it is usually expensive, so I'm loathe to pay full price. But I do keep cheaper medium grain rice on stock at home as well, because I grind it to make rice flour.

A few days ago I had guests for dinner and went to make rice. I went to get my bulk bag of basmati rice that I had been using and then remembered I had used it up. So I went to my easy to access stockpile shelf under the stairs to find a package of rice but I couldn't find any there. Not even the medium grain rice that I should also have in stock. How could that be? I always have rice! So I went to do something painful to me and went through the bags of groceries my kids left on the floor there in search of rice but there was none there either. At this point I was desperate. I made my way across the treacherous bags of groceries on the floor, trying not to trip, bending over to reach the shelves on the low roofed area and went through each one slowly and methodically, because I was going to get the rice even if it meant an aching back. But that was also in vain, because there was not a single package of rice there. I was flabbergasted. Did I really have no rice at home? What would I do? Did I mention that the grocery stores near me were closed?

Fortunately, my tenant came to my rescue and supplied me with half a bag of basmati rice which I was able to cook up and serve for dinner. But I was desperate for rice, since I can't continue without a stock of rice in my house.

But I abhor paying full price for rice, which is why I make sure to buy it on sale and keep it in stock in my stockpile. Oh well. I guess it'll have to be full price, I thought.

Then yesterday I had a doctor's appointment right next door to a scratch and dent store that typically is out of my way. I didn't have any wagon or anything with me other than a backpack, since I had a busy day planned (that didn't include shopping) but I decided to pop inside anyhow. This store doesn't usually have so many different types of discount foods but when they do I sometimes get lucky. This time I hit the jackpot, at least the jackpot I needed at the time. 

Basmati rice! In bulk! 5 kilo (11 lbs) bags! Basmati rice locally goes for $1.69 to $1.80 per pound, so when I see it for $1.29 I try to buy enough for a little bit. If I find it even cheaper, then awesome. I think the lowest I'd ever seen it being sold for was $1.04 per pound.

This basmati rice? It knocked those prices out of the park. $8.57 for a 5 kilo bag. Which works out to be $0.78 per pound! Astounding. That is slightly above the stock up price that I pay for the cheaper medium grain rice that I grind for rice flour.

I needed that rice at that price.

But I had no wagon with me, only a backpack. And while I sometimes buy a cheap wagon to help me take home a bunch of scratch and dent groceries that I find on sale, because even including the price of the wagon it works out to be significantly cheaper, that only works when you are buying enough groceries to offset the cost of the wagon. But this wasn't the case here. So I decided to see if I could fit 2 5 kilo bags of rice into my backpack (together with the laptop I already had in there) and it was a tight squeeze but I managed to do it.

Yes, it was a bit heavy carrying those 10 kilos on my back, but for that price, it was worth it.

And now, hopefully, we won't run out of rice in the house... at least not for a month or two.


  1. I haven’t commented here as yet, but I’m just concerned that you are carrying 10 kg weights in your backpack when you have a bad backache. Is this part of what’s causing so much pain?

    1. Unfortunately my back issues arent related to that. They're related to my pelvis actually. But also unfortunately I dont have a car so I have to lug things by hand anyhow. Carrying things in a wagon can actually be worse for my pelvis than carrying on my back. Back carrying can make the upper part of the pack painful. My issue is more lower back.

  2. Maybe you can make a fun time with your kids on stacking the shelves properly, and neatly and they get a treat when done. also for your back , maybe you can get a small sturdy childs chair,(something they use in school for kindergarten) and when you need to sit in that low area, it might not be so uncomfortable. you wont need to bend. Back problems are the worst!

    1. Even when my kids stack neatly its so unorganized that i cant actually find anything. But yea, a small child's chair might help with that- thanks for the idea!

  3. My mom has a freezer in her garage that is two steps down from her house level. She has MS and can't walk so when she needs something she has my dad do it. One time I went there to help her clean and organize her freezer. I took before and after pictures so she could see what was in it. Maybe your kids could do something similar? Especially pictures, which they might enjoy taking. I hope you find a solution to your back problems and that your pantry gets organized too.

  4. I know that feeling of struggling to do something even if you actually want to do it. I just wanted to say that I enjoy the things you write and have learned a lot from reading your blog. Self-doubt is hard. I hope yours eases off soon.

  5. This post was more than 'good enough'. Keep going. Don't listen to the demons of despair.


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