From the first spoonful of tasteless porridge to the warm fluffy bowls of steamed rice that I eat today, rice has always been by my side. Rice has always been a food that connects me to my home and my family. My relationship with rice could be called an inseparable love and semi-hate story since I was young.

My mother always told me stories of when I was a toddler. She told me how much I loved porridge and how I would gulp down bowl after bowl of the mushy goodness. I would eat the tasteless plain porridge for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

As I grow older and could start eating solid food, the plain porridge turned into bowls of steamed rice. I remember sitting on my mother’s lap everyday as she fed me spoonfuls of rice followed by a spoonful of hot chicken soup until I finished all the rice in the bowl. I would sit there gulping it all down with no complaints.

When I started elementary school I would go home and a bowl of rice would always be there waiting for me. I would eat it with simple side dishes like eggs and stir-fried vegetables. Occasionally there would be a mix-up where the steamed rice would be fried rice or seafood porridge. I would eat them everyday all the same. This lasted all through elementary and middle school for me.

Then around the time when I entered high school my love relationship with rice started going downhill. Eating it practically everyday despite the occasional changes made me become sick of rice and I didn’t want to eat it anymore, much to my mother’s disapproval. Even though I could never completely hate rice I still wanted a break from it and thus my love relationship with rice turned into a semi-hate relationship over time.

As a result, when I got home from school I would avoid rice and only eat side dishes. My mother would scold me while saying, How I could you be full or get nutrients if you don’t eat rice? However, no matter what she said I’d still be sick of rice, so I continued to avoid it.

Then, as time progressed, I started to slowly miss rice. I missed the warm and sweet feeling it gave me when I stuffed mouthfuls and mouthfuls of it at meals. At this time, my friends and I were always going to convenient places, such as McDonald’s, delis, and pizzerias for food, so I hardly ate rice anymore. Then when I got home I would be too full to eat, so I wouldn’t eat dinner with my family and would start doing homework instead. Being away from rice equaled my being disconnected from my family and home.

In the end,  I started eating more rice at home, while eating other foods when I was outside with my friends. This created the balance I needed in my diet so I wouldn’t get sick of rice anymore, and my relationship with rice slowly went back uphill to a love relationship once again.

 

Chu Wang is a sophomore majoring in Computer Arts at SVA. She likes to eat and try many kinds of foods from different cultures.