(This is a guest post by a fellow rice fan about her experience cooking rice)
The rice I prepared was always soggy, over-expanded into goo, or so solid I could hardly pry it loose from the pan. Often busy with my family of five children, I could not always watch the pot and the rice would scorch.
Most of the time the kettle boiled over. My husband would take pity on me and help me wipe up the slippery, starchy mess. I guess you could say it was a family affair. It always brought back memories of my youth.
My Mom often made rice pudding for the 10 of us kids. It was so delicious and a comfort food to me now. She could whip it up in nothing flat and it would be gone in the same length of time! To my further humiliation, she cooked on a blackened old wood-burning cookstove; Mine is electric — not as hot, or difficult to use. I don’t have to run outside and bring in an armload of cut wood to stoke it up.
I never saw how she cooked the rice, except I know my Mom — she never measured anything to cook or bake, not bread, cakes, cookies, — she just jammed her hand into the flour sack and the sugar, broke eggs with the other hand, tossed it all into the bowl, opened a can of evaporated milk and added water at the sink and whipped it up.
The rice was made with canned milk, white sugar, raisins and a good four fingers and thumb pinch of cinnamon. It was heavenly . . .
I have known only a few people who can cook rice proudly. Most cannot and tell all their woes, hoping to find the magic answer. My bachelor son researched it online and proceeded to show me how to prepare Mexican rice. It flopped.
He went back to the computer and hours later knew what he had done wrong. The rice must “rest” for up to three days after cooking. I think my mother turned over in her grave! She didn’t believe in anything resting, except sick kids and biscuit dough.
After many errors and a lot of cooked rice courses pitched into the trash can, we decided to invest in the Sanyo, 650 watt, ECJ-M100S Micro-Computerized 10-Cup Rice Cooker. We found it online and fell in love with its features. Versatility is the major factor. Not only does it make up to 20 cups of cooked rice, enough to feed our large family, but it cooks nutritious soups and stews, and bakes casseroles, cakes and bread. We love the quick cook, slow cook and bread baking cycles, also the steam tray turns out delicious healthy vegetables.
The cooker’s size — 11″ x 10½” x 11″ — fits perfectly on the counter, where it is easily gotten to and used. The 15-hour timer lets us prepare meals ahead so we have more time for other tasks. It has a tight jar-style top, removable steam vent and dew collector and a thick (2 mm) nonstick inner pot. The keep warm mode is fantastic and so is the reheat function. Included with our Sanyo Rice Cooker were a user manual, the steam tray, spatula and holder, and a measuring cup.
My son especially likes the Fuzzy Logic technology behind the computer concept and digital control panel. To make restaurant-quality rice, he measures the water and rice and sets the controls.
The cooker goes into keep-warm mode until the rest of the meal is ready. Then the carrying handle lets us take the food to the table. Best of all, it cooks while we chill with family and friends.