Saturday, September 13, 2008

Dinner # 1: Fried Rice

Okay, so, the night I moved into my apartment I had cereal for dinner. It's not like I unpacked all my stuff and busted out the PAM. I've been living here for two weeks now and I've had thoughts of starting this chronicle for a few meals now. This one was just the kicker, and it's the only thing I have a picture of to show you, so it's #1. Plus, I'm an otaku, so it's relatively fitting.

Fried Rice

Now, there are a lot of recopies for fried rice out there and I've tried a bunch that I didn't like. This is kind of a mix-match hodgepodge with minimal ingredients and maximum delicious.


Rice (duh) - 2 cups uncooked
Soy Sauce - about 2-3 tbsp or to taste
Margarine - 3 tbsp ( you can use butter but it's badder for you)
Eggs - 4
Vegetables of choice


1. Cook the rice.
This is probably the hardest part. I'm not going to try and tell you how, because I have a rice cooker (as rice is my favorite food) and I can't eat rice any other way, so I honestly have no business trying to tell you how to cook it. If you have minute rice, it'll tell you on the box. If you don't have minute rice and you don't have a cooker, google it I guess. I really don't want to speculate and mess you up.

2. Put cooked rice in the freezer.
Yeah, I know that sounds weird. We're not freezing it, we're just trying to cool it down to room temperature, so keep an eye on it.

3. Scramble the Eggs
While the rice is getting cool, just grease a pan and scramble the eggs. If you have chopsticks handy, bust them out. Keep continuously stirring the eggs with the chopsticks and you'll end up with what my Japanese cookbook calls "egg sprinkles". It's like, a pasty looking sort of curdled egg where all the pieces are really small. If you don't have chopsticks, try and recreate this with a fork, just make sure the bits are small.

4. Add Veggies and Eggs
Once the rice is cool (which it should be once you've cooked the eggs), mix the eggs and whatever veggies you have chosen into the rice. I put peas and green peppers in mine, but it's whatever you like/have on handy. I would have put in onions if I'd had some. Fresh veggies are obviously best, but if you don't have fresh, frozen will work. I'm not sure about canned. They tend to be mushy. Make sure the veggies are thawed before you mixed them in, if they were frozen.

5. Melt Margarine
In a big flat pan (I don't have a frying pan but I have one that's got like, ribs on the bottom of it that worked okay) melt the margarine. Easy enough. This is a really big recipe, so generally I use half the margarine and half the rice mixture and put the other half in the fridge for later. In the picture after the jump, that's half the recipe. If you're planning to have other things WITH the rice, you might want to cook even less. If you have two people eating just rice, you might want to cook it all. Up to you.

6. Add Rice to Pan
Easy again, add the rice mixture to the pan.

7. Add Soy Sauce
If you're using half the recipe, don't forget to use only half the soy sauce. Or more, if you want it. It's up to you.

8. Fry the Rice
I feel like Cooking Mama. Keep the rice moving on the pan so it doesn't burn. Cook it for like, maybe 10 minutes. Until you think it's done. Taste some. :D

That's it! Dinner time!

It's good. Trust me. Just, after you make it, eat it. Don't start writing a blog about it or something and forget to until it's practically cold.

I found a recipe on that's almost IDENTICAL to this one, which weirded me out slightly. It's a pretty simple recipe though so it's not really that weird. Anyway, they say to use butter (ew) and to add salt and pepper. Personally I find soy sauce salty enough but the pepper is an interesting prospect. Also, they say to add half the soy sauce (or a quarter since my recipe is for twice as much) to the rice that you put in the fridge and then add the other half (or quarter) when you fry it. It tasted fine to me to not do that, but I'm interested so I put some in my fridge rice. I'll edit again whenever I cook it and let you know.

Introduction: Let's Just Say I Never went Hungry

Okay, so, I'm a college student, right? And, I live alone (very alone) in an apartment on the third floor of a complex you'd swear was a retirement community.

So, I get bored. And, I get hungry. Plus, I'm fat. I've been a fat girl since nary my mind can recollect. I grew up in a family that didn't scrimp on dinner. I mean, sure, my mom would call every now and again and say "I'm going shopping tonight. Fend for yourselves."

Well, that was never much of a problem. Our kitchen was fully stocked. Fully stocked. We had everything from bread and eggs and butter to frozen delicacies that would tantalize the unsophisticated American pallet, to desserts that would fatten the twiggiest of twigpeople.

This kind of thing might happen during the week, of course. And my sisters and I would dig through the two large freezers (one dedicated almost entirely to meat products), two refrigerators, three large bookcases used as pantry shelves, and the cupboards of cooking facilitators, like chocolate sprinkles and baking powder. And, we'd turn on the stove, or push the microwave buttons... or heat up the deep fryer, or grease the wok, or plug in the blender, the rice maker, the quesadilla toaster, the regular toaster, the chocomotion, the smoothie machine, the shaved ice crank-ma-bob, the ice tea machine, the popcorn maker, the meat slicer or any of the other dozens of appliances purchased at fairs and from the internet. Actually, we weren't allowed to use the meat slicer. It was large and shiny and commercial and sported a huge, sharp blade that would most certainly cause us injury.

That was my dad's job.

Now, as I mentioned, this fend-for-yourself situation was a mid-week sort of a charade. And, usually it just consisted of heating up some frozen pizza or cracking open a can of spaghettios. As with anything, the newness of most of these appliances wore off quickly and we dwindled to the basics. Oven, microwave, toaster. Bam.

Weekends, though, were something entirely different. Particularly Sunday afternoons.

Now, we're not a religious family. We each have our own thoughts on religion and we're all very loving and good (most of the time) despite our differences in opinion, but we're not a church-going family. We're Chrieasters, as a friend of mine from high school coined. We go to church on Christmas Eve and Easter. That's about it. And, if someone gets married or dies.

But Sundays were a day of bounty regardless. Without fail, dying or sprite, my mother would concoct the biggest meals every Sunday afternoon. Generally, if available, my grandparents would attend, and we'd have London Broil, or steak, or chicken cordon bleu. Nothing too fancy, but the sheer gandor of the meal was never lost on anyone. There would always be a promise of leftovers the next day, particularly when we had Thanksgiving in July. About once a summer, my mom would make Thanksgiving. Without the football and the parade, it's just dinner, right?


Turkey, stuffing, baked corn, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce...

and Pumpkin Pie.

So, you see, I've had quite a relationship with food in my days of existence. Literally, I have one friend who refuses to come to dinner at my house simply because every time he does my family badgers him into eating twice what he normally would and he spends the rest of the evenings guilting and sporting sore tummies. Now, when I say 'refuses' I mean, "No I absolutely will not do that to myself again. No, stop asking. I won't. Tell your mom I love her and I'm sorry. No. No. I said NO." --time passes-- "Pass the strawberry cool whip tapioca dream of a deliciousness I cannot form into words? *salivates*"

So, now I live by myself. I can't stand to cook huge meals for one person and I don't really have anyone to entertain. And, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking the same things everybody thinks when I share with them my predicament. I'm a poor college student with a tummy to feed. The solution is obvious, isn't it? Well, news flash--


We just can't. Plus, do you know how BAD that shit is for you? I mean, just because I'm fat doesn't mean I ENJOY putting horrible things into my body. I love ramen as much as the next sorority sister (oriental is my favorite); it's like 3c a box, it's fast and it's food, I get it.

But there are other things you can eat, people!

I'm going to chronicle my adventures in my tiny kitchen

here for you in this blog. I can't promise to be the massiah of solitary apartment dining, but, I can share with you what I've found to be true and what I've found to taste relatively good on a small budget. The first few might be a bit more extravagant, because I'm living off of my mom's groceries. Traditionally (in an effort to transition us to not having an entire Walgreens in our pantries, I suppose) my mom buys us a bunch of food when we move out. This is what I've become accustomed to eating.

Please enjoy. Leave feedback. If you have ideas, I'd be glad to hear them.