I made rice the old-fashioned way – in a pan, on the stove. I did it this way for donkey’s ears. Admittedly, I ended up with unpredictable consistency, but I had fresh-cooked rice.
I also had the cleanest stove in town. I cleaned my stove every time I made rice because it boiled over onto the stove. To say I hated cooking rice would be an understatement. Actually, I hated the clean up.
I knew there were rice cookers. I live in an Asian neighborhood near Los Angeles so my favorite stores all sell rice cookers. Even Wal-Mart sells rice cookers at a reasonable price. Would I buy one? Nope. Why buy a technologically advanced appliance when a pan of water on the stove does the same thing?
After cleaning up a particularly nasty batch of rice starch from my stove top, I began to imagine what it would be like to never do this again.
As I scrubbed a blackened burner cap, I imagined popping rice into a self-contained electrical appliance that only required me to specify “White” or “Brown,” add water, hit the ON button, and walk away. What would it be like to return later to a batch of perfectly cooked brown rice – no muss, no fuss?
Curiosity got the better of me. I used my Internet connection appropriately to research rice cookers: manufacturers, pricing, features, retailers. Wow! Information was so compelling that I wanted a rice cooker and I wanted it now. I ran out, paid retail, brought that baby home, unpacked it, and made my first batch of rice.
OMG! What was I thinking all of these years?!
No, I did not have an Epiphany, I had a cellular level experience that could only be described as “love at first batch.” It was magical. I had only seen rice like that in vegetarian or Chinese restaurants. Even more amazing, when I stored it in the fridge, it stayed beautiful and fluffy…only colder.
Cleanup? Trust me, it was another dimension of easy. There are even websites devoted to other things you can make using, say it with me, “Your rice cooker!” Been there, done it, love it! I made amazing frittatas, and a luscious pineapple upside down cake. They were so good there were no leftovers! Check out these ideas: http://www.buzzfeed.com/arielknutson/surprising-things-you-can-make-in-a-rice-cooker
It turns out the rice cooker is a sort of one-stop appliance. Who knew? I like it better than my slow cooker because it seems to cook faster, which translates into using less energy. I haven’t done the research on utility usage so don’t quote me.
My advice to everyone – buy a rice cooker. Get one for yourself because you deserve it. Buy one for a friend or family member because if they have a rice cooker, they can spend more time with you when they have perfect rice every time. Of course, every bride needs a rice cooker because that first year of marriage has enough stresses and messy rice should not be one of them.
I admit it, I was insane for not buying one sooner. I’m better now, and you can be, too.
Run out and buy a rice cooker.