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COLUMN: An easy rice recipe for a busy day

Whenever my mother cooks up some rice, it is sure to be a good day. Sticky, scrumptious and wonderfully filling, a nice bowl of rice with an added clove of garlic is the perfect meal for those evenings when you just don’t have a lot of time to cook. 

The key to this recipe is short-grain rice. It’s starchier and softer than its long-grain rival, which makes for a more satisfying, easier meal in my opinion, as I’m not a fan of rice that is hard to bite through. While short-grain may not be as healthy as other kinds of rice, it is what makes this particular recipe the ideal comfort food and always makes me think of home.

The ingredients you will need are 1 cup of preferably short-grain rice and 2 cups of water. However, if you insist on using long-grain rice, make it one cup of water instead. Additionally, you’ll need 1 tablespoon of olive oil, a clove of garlic and 1 teaspoon of salt.

Heat up the oil and brown the garlic in a pot on the stove at medium high. Next, add the rice, stirring it well.

Then add the water and salt. The water will immediately start sputtering, but don’t be scared. It is important, once you’ve finished this final addition, not to continue stirring the rice too much. Otherwise, it will become too sticky once it is done. My mother recommends just a couple gentle passes through the water with a spoon, as if you were drawing an X in the water.

Bring the water to a boil, turn the stove to low and cover with a lid for 15 minutes. When it’s done, you may want to throw on a fried egg or some beans for extra flavor, although the rice is already delicious by itself. Depending on how much you eat in one sitting, the rice may last you for two or three meals.

I’m bringing you this recipe, with my mother’s blessing, because I know that many of us simply don’t have a lot of resources to cook good food. On one hand, our time is consumed by class. When we aren’t in class, it is consumed by homework, and when we aren’t doing homework, it is consumed by clubs, exercise and other activities. In college, time really does fly, which is why RPS dining is always so appealing even when you no longer live in a dorm, since it is convenient and fast.

On the other hand, money is often an issue. Some students who have stepped away from RPS can get by with relative ease because they receive money from their parents for groceries. Others, however, pay for groceries out of their own pockets.

In either case, we strive to pay as little as possible to stay on the friendly side of our parents or bank accounts. The result is that we’ve become accustomed to heating up a Jack’s Pizza or throwing some boxed macaroni in a pot. It’s cheap. It’s fast. I understand.

But I’m sure at least some students might like something more, something that tastes good, isn’t processed and still takes little time and money to prepare. That is the goal of the recipe I’ve included here.

Fortunately, there are many other recipes on the internet that produce a generous amount of food at the expense of relatively little labor and money. If you are getting tired of the same old same old, you might want to try one of these out. It’s to your benefit because it helps you become more independent and more like an “adult,” and makes for a healthy diet.

You might even like to keep a book of new recipes you find, adding in little corrections for what works and what doesn’t. After a while, you’ll impress yourself with how much you’ve learned.

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