Not A Licensed Establishment

(Alternate Title: If You’re Feeling Bad About Your Housekeeping Skills)

My hubby and I have a running joke about the lack of sanitation in our kitchen, and how we would SO fail if a restaurant inspector from the health department ever showed up at our door demanding a tour. Nobody’s died, or gotten food poisoning, and we do wash surfaces down pretty regularly.

But whenever we employ the 5 second rule (AGAIN), or find a curdled sippy cup in some ridiculously random place, or a pennicillin forest on a leftover in the back of the fridge, we look at each other, shrug, and say, “This is not a licensed establishment!”

Yesterday, however, I may have sunk to a new low. I was getting ready to cook some rice. I had the dry rice in the pan of my rice cooker, ready to rinse. (Ladies, if you do not yet have a rice cooker, but eat rice more than three times a month, GO get yourself one. You’ll love it. I’ll never be without one again.)

Anyway, I set the rice pan down in the sink and turned the water on. While the pan filled, I noticed a droopy plant next to the sink. I thought while I had the water running (multitasking Mary), I’d just give that poor plant a drink. I picked it up, held it under the faucet for a sec, and set it back down next to the sink.

Then I looked down. There were black flecks floating in my rice. DIRT. I’d held the plant right over the top of the rice pan and hadn’t even thought about the possiblity of slosh. Which it had. Duh.

Hmm… 6 cups of rice and a teaspoon of dirt. ‘Seems a shame to toss it’, whispered the spirit of my frugal grandmother in my head. Especially since the dirt is…. rising to the top. Floating! Aha! Five second rule! I rinsed and dumped, rinsed and dumped, till dirt was no longer visible to the naked eye. I figured since it was going to be cooked anyway, all remaining germs would be killed.

We had the rice for dinner. It was fine. We’re fine. But it was definitely a whole new way to make ‘Dirty Rice‘, one I plan on avoiding in the future.

This is not a licensed establishment.


  1. hahaha! that's totally something i would do.

  2. ROFL. Oh, oh, so funny. Mostly because it is totally something I would also do.

    Ditto on the rice cooker. Mike bought me one for my birthday a couple of years ago – it is WONDERFUL.

    I'm stealing your "this is not a liscensed establishment" phrase. I've given up on keeping the floor clean with a baby and a dog.

  3. That's hilarious. What happens when your kids read your blog?

    Dying to know what the five second rule is. Does it take more than five seconds to explain? Sounds very useful!

  4. I've done similar things before… I won't tell if you won't. And I love the "this is not a licensed establishment" phrase! Perfect!

  5. Ha! I have the 30 minute rule! If it's been on the floor for 30 minutes and the dog only licked it twice then it's still edible! J.K. But you are not alone man! I mean woman.

  6. I'd do it, too. Definitely.

  7. Doesn't dirt have a lot of nutrients?

  8. Oh yes, I do love my rice cooker too. I can steam vegies in mine as well.

    I just joined Blogging Chicks and am making my way through the list of other bloggers to say hello. 🙂

  9. This was LOL material! Dirty Rice!!! Cracked me up. And something I would do but likely never admit.

    My daughter-in-law would truly have a stroke. She washes her fruits and veggies with soap! How she's gonna handle being related to all of us is beyond me. But glad to know there are those out there like minded. Waste not – want not!

  10. That was cute!! Did you tell the kids?

  11. I totally would do that! After only three kids, the 5 second rule has relaxed to the one minute rule… 😉

  12. I'm so lovoing this post. LOL

  13. I probably would have done the same thing!!! Hee hee!

  14. So for mothers day I take my wife to Ryans and my boy won't keep his shoes on. At the end of the meal I tell him to get under the table find his shoes and put them on. I look down just in time to see him finishing some treat he found down there. God only knows. He is still alive……. the draw backs to teaching the kids the 5 minute rule.

  15. Ha! Love the "not a licensed establishment" idea – am defintely stealing it. 🙂

    I would have soooo used that rice just like you did too. Dirty rice is fine. Once you go outside with your kids and see them put handfuls of dirt into their mouth, it's quite clear that a few specks won't hurt them!

  16. ha!
    i love it. especially sicne i have a houseplant next to my bathtub, and i'm often bathing in potting soil. sounds better than 'bathing in dirt' huh?!

  17. A little dirt never hurt anyone!

  18. Relief, relief, relief…to know that your kitchen is not spotless and you too have curdled sippy cups.

    All the while you're explaining the dirt floating on the rice I was following you until you considered "tossing it" That possibility was not even hovering in my thoughts..OF COURSE you would rinse it and eat it. I was thinking that something WORSE happened to it…

    According to your supportive comments this thankfully is more common than I realized…Praise the LORD!

  19. house cleaning must be much on the mind . . . my friend at overheadundergrace blog just wrote about housecleaning too! How funny, and yet , here I sit, reading blogs!

  20. Great story!!! A little "pepper" probably wouldn't have hurt anything. 🙂

  21. Mary, rice grows in dirt, for Pete's sake!! It often still has dirt clods in it when you take it out of the bag to cook it, so I don't see how that little bit of dirt would hurt anything. Besides, I wonder how much we eat in food that is supposed to be "clean" and "processed"?
    What doesn't kill us makes us stronger….Well, it sounds good, anyway…. 🙂

  22. I'm with you, Mary–a little dirt never hurt anyone. And if you don't mind, I'll be stealing your "This is not a licensed establishment" to use in our house!

  23. LOL! You are welcome in my home ANYTIME!

  24. Ya know…some of the boys in your house may have eaten dirt pies when they were little..maybe even the girls. I have 1 boy and three girls. I can so identify with the "dirty rice". It makes me feel good to read your story and it makes me think of my friend at, betweendiapersanddishes, she would assuredly do the same. fyi..I'm the overheadundergrace gal.

  25. That's too funny. I came from a family of 5 kids which was large compared to others around us, and I remember my mom saying, "at least it's clean dirt" when she'd pull dishes out of the dishwasher that still had stuff stuck to it. The 5 second rule definitely applied at our house as well, although I"m sure it was a lot more than 5 seconds.

  26. Ha! Dirty rice–too funny! The other day my hubby took something out of the trash–it WAS right on top–and he said the 5 second rule applied!

  27. Heehee I would have done the same 🙂

  28. Oh, this is hilarious! I so appreciate your honesty!

    We've changed the 5 second rule to the 10 second rule at our house!!

  29. SIX CUPS OF RICE??!!!???

    Oh, yeah.

    Big family.

  30. I love the reference to penicillin forest…this is a great entry.

    I'm making the rounds for the Blogging Chicks Carnival and wanted to stop by and visit!

    My little chickie is dancing away!! Come join me.

  31. Reading my way through the Blogging Chicks Carnival!

    I am one of those who never even thought about tossing it! I just knew you would eat it 🙂 LOL

  32. Thanks for making me smile with this one!

  33. LOL! "God made dirt, and dirt don't hurt." 😉

  34. Doing the Carnival –

    Love the fact that you didn't waste the rice!!! What's a little dirt – makes the immune system only stronger, I say!

  35. What they don't know won't hurt them!

  36. hahahaha! I'd do that too;)

    Reading through the carnival

  37. That gave me a good laugh. Thanks. I probably would have done the same thing (shhhh). With all that rinsing and then boiling, it's perfectly fine. Of course, I'd be like you and probably never repeat that again. My kitchen wouldn't pass either, especially the floor (lol).

  38. Ha ha ha, you know, I'd have done the same thing. You don't want to know how many NASTY sippy cups I find in the oddest places in my house, oh man.

  39. LOL!!! ohmygoodness that is too funny. I have the same shrug when my husband gasps that I left fruit or vegetables out of the fridge … hey, they grew outside, not inside a fridge. 🙂

    I often lurk, but I'm here today from the bc carnival

  40. So I know this is an ancient post, but I have a confession about rice that tops yours. I went to make suhi rice one day and found little white larvae crawling in it, exactly the samecolor and shape as the rice, right down to the littl epink bit ont he tip. Did I toss it? No. I rinsed and rinsed and picked through, and then figured anything left would be extra protein and would be boiled to death. There, now don't you feel better.

    We also had a problem with moths getting into the pantry and finding their way into the supposedly sealed 5 gallon buckets of millet and barley. I've washed and cooked a lot of barley that most people would throw out, because, it's 5 gallons, my grandmother would shoot me. My husband who lived in India for an year shrugs and says, well that's how the rest of the world does it. Washing the rice is just something you have to do, and they pick the rocks out too.

  41. I heard somewhere that we all eat about 1 cup of dirt in our lifetimes. Your kids just had an earlier start than most. 😉

  42. We live on a dry dust ranch There is no possible way to keep things clean here l my mom would so do the same thing { if you dont want me to write in anymore please just holler or say somthing not that big of deal}since I am just a kid