OMFG I need a better knife. I already knew this, but now I'm more than sure. I chopped onion, carrots and celery and boy does my knife suck. I messed up the skin on my index finger a bit trying to push down on the knife.

I was surprised that the celery smelled good. At first I thought that it smelled like chicken...no, chicken stock or broth. Duh, chicken broth and stock smell like celery. Who knew?

I've been shown how to dice an onion but realize I don't have instruction on chopping celery and carrots. How much can I use? How do I store vegetables? What's the "best" way to chop them?

I heated up a saucepan then put in some canola oil (~ tablespoon) and heat it up then dumped in a cup of rice and sauteed it a bit. I had intended to brown the rice but wasn't sure about how far I should go and started getting a few dark grains. I was hungry and decided I'd rather have unbrowned rice than start over after burning rice. I put in the chopped onions, celery and carrots (roughly 3/4 cup to 1 cup total..maybe a tad too much) and briefly sauteed the mixture before putting in chicken broth. The rice package called for 2 cups of liquid, but I started thinking about the veggies I put in...they had some liquid. It didn't occur to me until after the rice was done that the veggies would still have their water afterward, so I shouldn't have factored them in. I think I put in 2-3 ounces shy of 2 cups, and the rice came out not dry, but perhaps it could have been more moist. But I'm not complaining, it's good. Oh yeah, I also put in two small bay leaves, 3 whole cloves and some thyme. I turned the heat way down after boiling and covered and left it for 15 minutes. As I said I'm pleased with how it turned out. I want the vegetables smaller next time I think. I had visions of getting good with a chef knife, but until that actually happens I think I'll get a food processor to finely chop this stuff up for me.

I also fried up another burger patty as an afterthought. I had the rice almost done and realized I didn't have any meat handy, and the burger seemed the quickest and most familiar thing. I started at medium heat and then turned it down halfway between medium and the lowest setting, determined not to overcook the damn thing. It came out somewhat juicy but still pinkish and didn't taste as good as I thought it should. By then the rice was done, so I just dumped some rice on the plate with the hamburger patty (had dried onion and other spices mixed into it). I just realized salt and pepper are the biggest things the burger patties need...I guess I didn't mix in enough. I misjudged the burger doneness and undercooked it. I think I'll need to start with a lower temperature as I think it would have been too dry if I cooked it medium-well which is how I like my burgers.