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For Christmas I got a rice cooker. If you are a long time reader, that statement will make you smile. Several years ago I was with a group of women and one of them said that if she had to give up every appliance in her kitchen except one, she would keep her rice cooker. I was astounded - first because I had never heard of a rice cooker, and second because I rely daily on my food processor and blender.
Because of my Honorable Husband’s experience with pre-diabetic blood sugar levels two years ago, I only serve him one starch per meal, and I aim for beneficial starches. He loves rice, and it is a beneficial food for Type As in the BTD Diabetes book. My schedule works against me, however. To cook brown rice properly on the stove, I have to remember to start cooking it early, and I have to serve it quickly after it is done. One day I saw pre-cooked rice packets in the grocery store. You pop them in the microwave for a minute (the packet says 90 seconds, but I thought 60 seconds was better) and they are ready to eat. I could get both brown rice and wild rice. Initially I intended to have a couple of packets as a back up, but it was too easy. I began to buy them often.
Though they saved a lot of time, I always felt guilty. For one thing they are expensive relative to the cost of rice. There were also added ingredients, that I didn’t read too closely, because I knew I’d find things that weren’t good for him. And I don’t trust microwaving food in plastic bags. I do it from time to time, but I am suspicious.
As it got close to Christmas, I remembered the conversation about rice cookers and began to do a little research. I wanted a small cooker, because I mainly cooking rice for HH alone. I didn’t want to spend a fortune, and some of the highly rated oriental cookers are really expensive. One day DD and I wandered into a gourmet store at the mall and I got into a conversation with one of the sales people who recommended a one to six cup Black & Decker rice cooker that was moderately priced. He said if I didn’t like it, I could bring it back to the store for up to three months. I asked how many other people had returned them, and he said, “No one has ever brought one back.” I put it on my wish list, and Christmas morning it was under the tree.
Since then I have entered a love affair with my rice cooker. I can cook absolutely perfect brown rice in about 45 minutes or less. It is full of flavor – it even makes the kitchen smell good. It has an automatic warming function that keeps the rice ready to serve until the rest of the meal is ready. I can also use the warming setting to reheat leftover rice.
If I had to choose between the rice cooker and the food processor I would still choose the food processor…but I hope I never have to make the choice.
This blog is getting long. I’ll save the “old gadget” part for another day.
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