Given that I've had such a busy work and play week, I'm stunned to find that I didn't jot off a little something for a regular post. Goodness, here it is S.O.S. already.
I have rice cooking issues. While I won't say we eat a lot of rice, it is a staple in our house--particularly brown or wild rice. When I first started cooking I was an Uncle Ben's kind of girl. It's what my mom cooked. I was especially fond of this kind:
Mmmmm. Love this stuff. Probably because it has tasty autolyzed yeast as well as "natural flavors" (a code word for MSG, perhaps?) It saved many a dinner during the writing of my first novel--when I kept getting distracted by the words and momentarily forgot that I had three other people depending on me for mealtime sustenance.
Plain, hearty brown rice is what I serve now, usually cooked in no-added-sodium chicken broth. But it does take watching, particularly on our substantial but quirky gas stove. So I've been hoping for and hinting about a fancy rice cooker for a long, long time.
Say hello to Zojirushi! Zojirushi! I can't say its name just once. In fact, I tend to sing out its name as I go through the kitchen. It's a cheerful little machine. I think of it as a tubby white critter that perches on my kitchen counter just to be helpful. It's definitely the Hello, Kitty of rice cookers. It beeps. It plays a melody. It's cute as a bug. It makes wicked rice.
I'm a mix between an aural and a visual learner. Instruction manuals are anathema to me. I have to read them six times, then act them out, step by step, or I tend to miss critical elements.
Because Zojirushi! Zojirushi! is a Japanese product produced for a Japanese market, I struggled with the directions' idiosyncrasies. Like: Was I using washed or unwashed rice? There are two different measuring cups--neither of which measures out as a cup. Which embossed measurements inside the steaming bowl are for which?
Zojirushi! Zojirushi! also makes porridge. What is porridge, exactly? I know I should look it up. P says it's millet. Hm. I'm much more excited about sushi rice possibilities. And Indian rice. And wild rice.
P also gave me a cookbook for my birthday to go along with Zojirushi! Zojirushi! It tells me I can make pea soup in a rice cooker, too. Not that I ever would. Still, it's riveting reading. Can't wait to try it out. Also, it tells me the recipes can handle rice cookers with neuro-fuzzy logic. Best that I can tell, neuro-fuzzy means that they combine logic with a kind of techno-intuition. Maybe.
All I know is that I don't have to stir anything and that I can wander off and write or garden and my little neuro-fuzzy friend does the work and doesn't burn the rice or set the house on fire. Love that.