Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Spiced Basmati Rice (Page 256)

  • Date: Saturday, September 29, 2012 -- 7pm
  • Location: East Lansing, MI
  • Kitchen: Our House
  • Book: Gourmet Today
  • Fellow Chef: Karen H
  • Dining Companions: Matty and Dave
  • Recipe Rating: B

We made this rice as part of our Indian feast when my in-laws came to visit last fall. To prepare this super-simple recipe we fried bay leaves and cinnamon sticks in oil before adding basmati rice and cooking it in the normal fashion. It's hard to grade a recipe like this. I like basmati rice just fine, and this basically tasted like typical basmati rice. So it was fine. The bay leaves and cinnamon sticks didn't actually give the rice much additional flavor -- it was very subtle. Indeed, although I liked the idea well enough, I wouldn't bother adding them again, as they didn't contribute much. That said, this was perfectly fine basmati rice, and the dish certainly seemed appropriate for our Indian feast.

This recipe isn't online.

44 recipes down, 1062 to go!

Well, I am past the 35 week mark and the babies are still in there. We have had some mixed news this week. On the one hand, the babies look good! At our appointment on Monday after all the tests had been done the doctor declared it might be a few more weeks before I go into labor. He even said the number 40, which I will admit terrified me a little. All along they have been saying that if somehow I managed to make it to 38 weeks, they would induce around that time. But now it is apparently a possibility that at 38 weeks my body might not be ready to be induced and they would wait another week or two. I think that's unlikely to happen, but even the mention that this could go to 40 weeks was pretty scary! I am extremely debilitated at 35 weeks.  I can't even imagine what 40 would feel like! Ultimately though it was good news that the babies are healthy and in no hurry to come out.

The less good news was that I may be developing preeclampsia, which is bad. My blood pressure is up from what it normally is and I have significant protein in my urine. So, that is being watched closely and if my blood pressure were to increase more the babies would need to come out.

So we are in a state of uncertainty around here. The babies could be born any day, or it could apparently be almost 5 more weeks! In the meantime, I am just plugging along. I am mostly stuck at home these days as it is hard to be in any position other than laying down for more than a short period of time. I typically work in the morning, which is when I feel the best. I try to get in some solid hours of work before eating a late lunch and taking a mid-afternoon nap. After my nap I work some more or watch a movie, depending on how bad I feel. My special gentleman makes us a delicious dinner and after dinner he usually takes me out on some kind of excursion, seeing as how I have been stuck at home all day. I can't really stand or walk so our excursion options are limited. Lately we have gone for a lot of long drives, to ice cream shops in surrounding towns. A relaxing evening drive in the beautiful Michigan spring, plus ice cream -- it's nice. That's a typical day around here, with various friends visiting, doctors appointments, and prenatal yoga or water aerobics classes mixed in. I have struggled a lot with adjusting my expectations for my own productivity. I just can't do as much as I usually do in any realm (work, activity, cooking, etc), and that's been hard for me to accept. But lately I am trying to just embrace it for what it is. My body is working hard at something new right now, and I shouldn't worry about my reduced productivity in other realms during this period. It's a big adjustment for me, but I am trying!


Karen Shaffer said...

I keep checking your blog, wondering how you're doing with those babies...I'm always glad to hear you're still doing well and I hope that the remainder of your pregnancy (however long that is) goes well for you and them. And the delivery, too! I didn't have twins, but I do remember being pretty pooped that last trimester!

Anonymous said...

Hey, I hope you don't get to experience the dreaded preeclempsia, but if you do, here's a "I've been there" story for you.

I also have gone way farther than most twin pregnancies do without any problems, but I did develop preeclempsia right at the end. Since my normal blood pressure is low, the doctors didn't understand how serious it was until the 24 hour urine sample, and once it turned out there was an horrible amount of protein in there, I was scheduled for c-section the next day. One of my boys apparently did not gain any weight after 32nd week (due to preeclempsia), he was born at 1675 grams, IUGR diagnosis. But since I was at the end of 37th week, and had had steroid shots earlier, he didn't have any health problems, he was in NICU for 1 day, intermediate care for 9 days, and then home. My other boy was born 2600 grams, and came with us to our room immediately after birth.

The preeclampsia even developed into severe mode for me at the last minute, I was having vision problems (I was seeing double, and couldn't see anything in bright light) for almost 2 weeks after c-section. Other than that, I was fine, and happy we all got "out" okay. Like I said, I sincerely hope you never get preeclempsia at all, but even if you do, I hope it's all right in the end. -H, long time reader from Switzerland

Teena said...

Karen: Thanks for your well-wishes!

Anon: I am in a similar situation. My normal blood pressure is very low (100/60 or lower), but now it is around 135/85, which isn't so bad, but is very high for me! My 24 hour urine protein level came back well above the cut-off for preeclampsia, so that wasn't so good. They are keeping an eye on the blood pressure for now, and if it rises then they will deliver the babies right away. I am glad to hear that it worked out OK in your case, although that sounds scary!

Katie said...

Wow, I feel like I am relating to you on so many levels! I'm the one who commented the other day (I'm the twin who was breeched and just had a c-section three months ago). I also developed preeclampsia. I was about to be 37 weeks and went to my regular doctor appointment when protein suddenly showed up in my urine and my blood pressure was waaaaay up. She made me immediately go to labor and delivery. Sure enough, after a 24 hour urine I was at 522 (the number to be considered preeclamptic was 300) and I was admitted. Had my son not been transverse I would've had the option to be induced and deliver vaginally but they couldn't turn him because of where my placenta was located (it could've caused damage to it). So after being in tghe hospital for 2 days I was officially 37 weeks, which made my son technically full term.

Unfortunately, I guess he really needed those last three weeks because his lungs were not 100% developed. The term they used was "immature". So my little guy was immediately whisked away to the NICU because he was requiring 40% to breathe. All I got to give him was a kiss on his cheek. His next 9 days were spent in the NICU hooked up to wires with tubes down his throat. It really sucked and was so very depressing to be released from the hospital only to go home without him. So in a weird way, if you can make it to 40 weeks, it might actually be a good thing, even though you feel horrible.

I wasn't carrying twins, but I am 5'1" and got HUGE! I could only sleep sitting up in our chair in the living room, could barely get in and out of the car, and every muscle and ligament on my body ached. So I feel for you!

carol koehler said...

Megan just sent me reference to your blog. How exciting to hear of your pregnancy. We occasionally see your folks at Hubbard Ave Diner. PLEASE do not feel bad about not being as productive as you usually are. It will be quite a while now that you will need to "live with it". Hug and love on those babies as much as you can -- the projects and dishes and laundry will always be there. You will be amazed how busy you will be all day with feeding, burping and diapering, again and again. You just have to "count" productivity in a different way now.
I also had two c-sections. By the time delivery comes, you will be so ready for them to come out, a c-section won't matter - believe me. I told the doctor after 14 hours of labor, "c-section is fine. Use dynamite if you need to... get it out!" (a little transition humor). My best advice if you have a section is to drink lots of water -- it helps clear the anesthetic out of your system. And get up and walk - small amounts often, (increasing each time) and don't overdo. The walking will help get your "system" working. The day you go home from the hospital, do JUST that. It is more exhausting than you think to go home. Nurse or feed the babies before you leave the hospital and be sure you have taken pain med. Also, pain meds take a while to kick in, so take them as you begin to notice the effect is beginning to wear off. Don't be stoic, and take the meds if you need them. Then your body can use its limited energy to heal rather than deal with pain. As soon as you can, switch to tylonal or whatever the doc says is ok, and you can take the heavier stuff (or a half dose) at night time to sleep longer, if the babies let you. :) You might find you only need the heavy stuff for a few days. Nap when you can -- nothing better than a power nap. Don't waste it on doing housework.
Best wishes to you and soon you will meet your two new family members. Hey, maybe baby B will flip if baby A comes out first and makes more room!
Carol Koehler (Math Counts!)

GilaB said...

So I am a total stranger to you and you don't owe me anything, but now that it's been almost two weeks since your last update, I'm VERY curious as to how you are doing! I hope all is well. I've been following your blog for years now and have really enjoyed it.