Text on the screen

sdl newbie question:

i was going to ask how to put text characters on the screen using SDL, but
then i found a library called SDL_bmf.

otoh, for anyone who uses my program, it seems unreasonable for them to
download and make 2 packages (SDL_bmf requires expat). i’d rather my
program be ‘self contained’. especially since neither SDL_bmf or expat are
autoconf’ed and requires the user to edit the makefile, which not everyone
knows how to do.

so i’m back to my original question. other than treating text as a graphics
object, is there a way to print text to the screen? not looking for
anything fancy just yet.