The Doctor (and Neo) joined us for dinner

As a conclusion to the dinner party cliffhanger that I left you all dangling from last weekend,  I ended up scurrying over to Target and buying an overpriced wooden stool that is currently pulling double duty as an accent table in my bedroom.  Yay for grown up-ish furniture!  Because of my stomach bug and JR’s night shift, we ended up ordering in all of dinner and buying an oversized strawberry shortcake instead of having the banana pudding I had planned on making.  For this particular occasion, I’m so glad we decided to do that rather than eating out at a restaurant.  We weren’t rushed through our meal and were able to relax and talk for much longer than we would have if we had gone out to eat.  Another added bonus from ordering in: the loads of leftovers that fed us through the week.

However...

The day after the dinner party was when JR started showing symptoms of the same stomach bug I had during the week (I’ll spare you the gory details).  Poor guy was working at the hospital that night so, using the leftover rice from the night before, I stirred together a pot of homemade congee aka rice porridge.  There are different variations of congee throughout the world; I like to think of it as the Chinese version of chicken noodle soup.  It’s easy on the stomach, warm, and comforting, whilst still filling your body with all the nutrients it packs.

So I’m sharing with you my unplanned version of congee below.  Let’s be honest, I didn’t measure anything and tasted throughout the cooking process to make sure that it was turning out the way I liked.  There is no perfection with congee, but I’ll include real recipes later so you can be as precise as you’d like.

Ingredients:
Pre-cooked white rice (five cups)
3-4 cups of water
Chopped scallions (one stalk)
Sesame oil (one tablespoon)
Soy sauce (two tablespoons)
Minced garlic (three cloves)
Salt

Stir together on the stove and bring to a boil.  Keep at a simmer until porridge thickens to your personal preference.

There are multiple variations on this theme and included among the additional ingredients you can throw in are fried eggs, minced ginger, and/or any other cooked protein of your choice.  My mom’s favourite version has cooked sweet potato cubes mixed in with the rice.  I’ve linked some recipes below that will give you much more precise instruction than my slapdash summary above.

The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook
Serious Eats

Luckily, JR’s constitution is the stuff that steel is made of so it barely had him feeling bad for 24 hours.  If only we could all be so lucky.  But if you’re not, I’ll make some congee for you as well.