In my early 20’s my younger sister and I shared an apartment. We had two cats, two bedrooms, and groups of friends five years apart. Somehow it all worked. I was big sister to many of her friends, and my responsibility for her kept me with my feet firmly on the ground. We started off in a two bedroom ground floor suite that we could hop over the hedge and come in through the sliding doors, in a complex that had a pool that we never used. Next step up was a one bedroom in a more amenable area, in an older building with bigger rooms, with a creepy guy across the way that used to exercise in his briefs (we called him Jock Strap).
Finally we moved into a huge two bedroom third floor suite. It had been left in disrepair, so we made a quick agreement with the manager to paint the whole of it in exchange for the damage deposit. There was even a horrible mustard yellow “feature” wall that had a large dark stain dribbled down it. With a group of friends over one weekend (and a can of marine grade paint to cover the yellow wall), we got the whole of it done and moved into our first home-like suite.
There was a green grocer up the street who would sell us a stalk of celery or half a head of lettuce. The butcher was across the street, with a grocery store across the laneway. We ate well. Not a lot, but well.
One of our mainstay dinners was a couple of pieces of chicken seasoned and baked for ½ an hour or so, while we cooked some rice and a veg. Very plain, but it worked. I think the format of the supper allowed me to get some nutrition in fairly quickly after a day’s work before I’d head down to the stables to train for a couple of hours.
Rice has always been an easy way to round out a meal. I know we’re supposed to only eat brown rice, but it just takes too long! I use it, but more usually Basmati or Japanese. I’ll get my whole grains elsewhere.
When a large bowl of rice gets plunked down on a table family style, it quickly conforms to the shape of the bowl, and becomes less appealing. This recipe builds in a bit of sauce, so it stays moist and tempting far longer. Tuck a couple of flowers in the side and your family will think you’ve gone all “gourmet” on them. Continue reading