“Turning The Page from Dependence to Independence”

by Ahmed Alfehaid

            Everybody has changes in life. When these changes happen, people must turn to a new page in their lives. For me the biggest change has been coming to USA. My name is Ahmed. I’m from Saudi Arabia. I arrived to La Crosse, WI in May 20, 2010. Before I came to the USA, I quit my government job at city hall in Riyadh the capital city of Saudi Arabia, which I had had for 2 years. This meant that I turned a page from work to study. Right now, I’m studying English at the E.S.L. Institute.  After I graduate from ESL, I will go to New Jersey to study my MBA.

            In some ways, I’m not like the typical UWL students. However, in other ways I’m just like every other freshman student. Since I arrived here, I have had to turn the page from being dependent on my family and friends to being independent, relying only on myself. For example, I never did housework before, so I had to learn how to do many common things for myself. One thing that I have had to learn is cooking. Of course, I eat the regular American food, but I have to eat our traditional Saudi food sometimes.

            Every country has a traditional meal. In my country we have a famous dish. The dish’s name is Kabsa. It is formed by rice and meat, and it doesn’t matter if it is chicken or lamb. We eat this meal of the lunchtime or the dinnertime. It’s not common to eat it for breakfast because it has a lot of fat. Also, it is commonly eaten in parties and ceremonies. In this article I’m going to explain how to cook the Kabsa dish. First of all, I put the rice in a container or Jerrycan with water inside and leave it at least half an hour. Second, I bring the mix to a boil, and I put in one a tablespoon of oil. Third, I put in the onion, and it must be cut by chopping. Fourth, I fry the onion with tomato sauce for two minutes. Fifth, I put the meat into the boil, and I put in the water to equal the quantity of the meat. Sixth, I put one teaspoon of salt into the boil and cook for 20-25 minutes. After I finish cooking the meat, I take it outside the boil, and I put the meat in the oven to bake. When I’m baking the meat, I cook the rice by the highest heat on the stove. Seventh, I should make sure the water in the rice is evaporating. After the evaporation, I push the key of the stove to “low heat” and leave it for 5-7 munities. When the meat is roasted, I take the rice outside of the boil. Finally, I put the rice and meat in same plate to serving the guests

            Generally, I’m happy to have come to the U.S to study English. It’s the biggest page I have had to turn in my life.  I hope you dear students will consider “turning a page” with me, and enjoy this recipe for cooking Kabsa.

The recipe of the Kabsa meal for two persons

1-one cup from Basmati rice (tip: the best place to find this kind is Woodman’s grocery store, La Crosse).

2-one teaspoon of oil.

3- one piece of onion.

4-tow or three tablespoons of tomato sauce.

5-chicken or lamb.

6-one teaspoon of salt.

7-one tablespoon for any kind of powder spices, as you like


                      Basmati Rice from Woodman's                                                            Rice with water in a Jerrycan        


              Fry the chicken with onion and tomato sauce                                              Put the chicken outside and boil


                           Evaporate the rice                                                                            Let the rice cook for 5-7 minutes

The dish is ready to serve


<Prev Next>