Tuesday, 19 February 2013

High Tide05:03 (2.10m)
Low Tide11:00 (1.10m)
High Tide17:38 (2.10m)
Low Tide23:53 (1.00m)
Sea temperature: 3.2
Sea conditions: very calm
Weather freezing, hoar frost, -2 degrees
Joined by: Sara and The Poet
Topics of conversation:
The weather was quite breathtaking and as I'd not slept (more of which later) I had been out and about taking in the views as the sun rose. The frost was beautiful and the sky was throwing shapes and sky dogs as I got down to the beach. There was no one about and as the sea was calm and the shingle was frozen it was totally silent, I resolve to make the most of these moments.

In sickness and in health - Mertz doesn't get sick often, in fact he has a clean record at his office when it comes to sick days and he's been with them a fair while now, but last night he was sick, and how. He was really very distressed and at one point I did wonder if he might need to go to hospital, but 8 hours later and he is finally able to drink liquid and hopefully he'll get some sleep. He's not up to talking about it but having played detective this morning it's got to be food poisoning, and it's possible the culprit could be rice. We seldom eat together during the week as we have very different tastes and I don't know what he ate yesterday but there is often a saucepan of white rice hanging around, which could have been cooked a day ago or a week ago. If you put 'food poisoning' into Google third on the list is "from rice" and here's what the NHS has to say under the title: Can you get food poisoning from rice?:

Yes. You can get food poisoning from eating reheated rice. However, it's not the reheating that causes the problem but the way the rice has been stored before it was reheated.

How does reheated rice cause food poisoning?

Uncooked rice can contain spores of Bacillus cereus, a bacterium that can cause food poisoning. When the rice is cooked, the spores can survive.
If the rice is left standing at room temperature, the spores can grow into bacteria. These bacteria will multiply and may produce toxins (poisons) that cause vomiting or diarrhoea.
The longer cooked rice is left at room temperature, the more likely it is that the bacteria or toxins could make the rice unsafe to eat.

Tips on serving rice safely

  • Ideally, serve rice as soon as it has been cooked.
  • If that isn't possible, cool the rice as quickly as possible (ideally within one hour).
  • Keep rice in the fridge for no more than one day until reheating.
  • When you reheat any rice, always check that the dish is steaming hot all the way through.
  • Do not reheat rice more than once.

So maybe that's it.
The convoluted trout - by contrast I'd had the most amazing supper, a trout so big that I'd had to take half round to my Mother as Mertz doesn't eat fish. The trout was caught by the wife of my Mother-in-law's ex-nieghbour, the Vicar, hence DK referring to it as the convoluted trout. She's hell of a fisherwoman and it weight nearly 2lbs, it was quite delicious. I baked it in my oven and then took the steaming pan around the back to my Mother's house, where we filleted and shared it. There was enough for 2 meals each and it was absolutely delicious. Note to self: keep on the right side of my mother-in-law's ex-neighbour's wife!
Bag lady - as is often the case I was marvelling at Sara's ability to cope with 3 children and The Poet and remain sane but she made me feel better by telling about an occasion when she had been juggling children and loo rolls, collecting them for a 'technology competition' at her son's school. She'd amassed a large bag full and on the day they were due to be taken to school The Poet had done the school run, seen the bag by the door and helpfully placed it in the bin. A Mother's instinct told her to check, and once she realised that they were on the way to school without the precious loo rolls she went into Mad Mum Mode, grabbing the bag from the bin and chasing the car half way across London to make sure Josh had the best chance possible. It was only when she encountered another mum and began to explain what she was doing that she realised she may have taken devotion a step too far.
POST SCRIPT: He lives, and speaks, and it transpires that the rice was not the culprit, but some "dodgy chicken" that may have been left out at some point... Apparently there's some still in the fridge but having bleached the whole kitchen at about 7am I wasn't aware of this. Now I've got to pluck up courage to dispose of that... I might need another espresso, but as I daren't go anywhere till he can stand I guess I've got some time.

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