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30/36 (bowls of rice)

While shopping for my dorm room, my parents bought me three boxes of Haetban instant microwaveable rice, which has the tagline “Rice that tastes better than rice!” They also bought me a box of instant ramen, three packs of rice vermicelli noodles, soy sauce, and fish sauce. The only problem was that the rice (and the rice alone) had an expiration date of January 10, 2015.
At the time, we believed that Caltech didn’t provide any food over the weekend, so my parents estimated that in ten weeks, I could have rice for two meals a day every Saturday and Sunday, with some breaks, and thus easily get through 36 bowls of rice in a term. However, once I got on campus, I learned that Caltech was trying a new thing this year in response to popular demand: holding open kitchen in Chandler on weekends from 10 am to 2 pm. This meant that there were fresh fruits and sandwich fixings available for lunch on weekends. Additionally, I often ate out or had dinner provided by different clubs and events, so my rice consumption was even lower.

I am writing this post on Wednesday, January 7, 2015, and with three days to go, I only have 6 bowls of rice left. How did this happen? Lots of cooking of varying degrees of validity. My roommate, Chloe, and I cooked pineapple fried rice:

Chloe graciously cooked tomatoes and eggs over rice while I was taking my Math 1a midterm last term, which constituted a very welcome and delicious break between grueling proofs:

(photocreds to Chloe)
We also cooked many variations of soup, using freeze-dried Korean soup blocks and adding in vegetables and poached eggs, but they tasted a lot better than they looked, so I won’t be posting those. When my mom came for parents’ weekend in November, we ate at Koreatown and brought back kimchi soondubu (spicy soft tofu stew) and side dishes to-go. My roommate and I shared it with rice, (and later made our own soondubu using soup packets and tofu, which we also had with rice):