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Perfect Rice

(by Derya Celikkol)

Rice may seem like one of the easiest things to make, but it actually takes a lot of artistry to make the perfect rice. And my mother has the expertise to make the perfect rice. When I was old enough to notice that my mom’s rice tasted considerably better than the rice I had in my friends’ homes, I asked her what made her rice so special, and she showed me as we made her perfect rice together. I still remember the agony I would feel when the rice had to “rest” for 15 minutes after it was cooked, and I had to wait in the kitchen with the heavenly aroma. When someone complimented my mother’s rice, she would shrug off a bit of her humility to say, “I really do make the perfect rice.”

My mother raised my brother and me almost by herself since my father was usually away on business while we were growing up. Being the knowledge-hungry woman that she is (which is definitely a characteristic I inherited from her), she chased all the books, seminars, and workshops for self-help, mainly to be able to raise us in the best way possible. With her kind heart and knowledge (which she still cultivates every day), she has selflessly helped so many of her friends in their trying times. I witnessed her mastering many di