I am constantly amazed at how animated and talkative people get when you mention food. The mere aroma of certain foods can evoke memories that transport us back to a special place and time. Food can bridge the gap between all ages, races and ethnicities.
Let's face it, the only thing that should ever come between people is a table and some serving bowls.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Out of Necessity Spanish Rice

My Mother moved out on her own when she was barely 17 years old. She rented a little studio apartment, which was actually the turret of a big old house in the city. At $50.00 a month(sounds cheap to us) but then it might as well have been$500.00. In those days she was able to put alot of what she needed to purchase on lay away. If she needed a winter coat or a kitchen table she could get it and only pay a dollar or two a week. Unfortunately she did not have that payment option when it came to food. My mother always loved rice and rice was very inexpensive. You could make a little bit of rice go a very long way. So she concocted this version of Spanish rice, which at the time cost her less than $3.00 to prepare.
This recipe filled one of those big stove top dutch oven pots and gave her 2 meals a day for almost the entire week. Luckily for her she truly loved it.
I was always amazed that she still made it on occasion when I was growing up. She use to say; "You would think that I would never want to see Spanish Rice ever again".
My mother currently resides in a nursing home and I always bring some kind of treat when I go to spend time with her. This last visit she asked if I would make her some Spanish rice the next time I come...... all these years later, still one of her favorite meals.

Remember this is a frugal version of Spanish rice, created by a girl with very little money. You can easily add more meat, different spices etc....

Harriet's Spanish Rice

1 pound lean ground beef
2 tablespoons of oil
3 cups chopped onion(she loves onions)
2 bell peppers chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes
1/4 cup ketchup
2 cups long-grain rice
3 cups of water

In a 3 quart dutch oven(big Pot with lid) brown ground beef in oil. Add onion, green bell pepper, salt and pepper.
Cook until onion is tender. Add tomatoes and ketchup; simmer 15 minutes.
Add rice. Cover and simmer 25 minutes, or until rice is tender, stirring occasionally. Add a little water if necessary.

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