I cannot overstate the importance of keeping around basic food staples that will keep for a million years. The kind of thing you find a bag of in the back of your cupboard and go “wow how long has this been here…? Well, it still should be good.”

White rice is that thing.

Rice comes in small bags, big-ass bags, and pretty much everything in between. The big ones are great because you can just keep it in your pantry and always have it around and as long as it stays dry, it’ll last essentially forever. This is why I have a lot of meal recipes that use white rice as a base, and as long as you’re at least marginally functional, it’s a really good, straight-forward starch base with minimal required prep.

(I’ve heard it’s even easier if you have a rice cooker, but… well, you’d need to have a rice cooker, and be familiar with using the rice cooker, and the rice cooker not having a lot of setting options, and…)

Generally when you’re doing just rice, you want about twice as much water as rice. So, measure out the rice first, put it in your pot, then measure out twice that much water. If you like firm rice, use less. Then, put a lid on it, bring it to a boil, and turn the heat to just a little above low. Bringing the rice to a boil is the only part that requires attention, but it requires it. Do not walk away from the stove.

If you do walk away, you’ll wind up doing something else until you hear a sudden HISSSSFSSFDFSSSSSSSSSS coming from your stove and you go “OH SHIT I FORGOT ABOUT THE RICE” and run back and feel like you suck forever, so trust me, just stand there and stare at the pot until you see it bubbling. Then, turn it down, wait to make sure it’s settled, and get on with the rest of the meal.

It should cook about half an hour, but you can basically leave it there until you look at it and go “yeah okay that doesn’t look wet anymore it’s probably done” and turn off the stove and leave it there. (Do you have a pot with a glass lid? Glass lids are amazing. You can see inside without lifting the lid!)

You can jazz the rice up with stuff if you want, it’s pretty flexible - broth instead of water is an easy and delicious change - but as a meal base, that’s all you really need.