Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Pot and How to Use It

The Mystery and Romance of the Rice Cooker
by Roger Ebert
July 9, 2014

Roger Ebert published this book in 2010, long after he was forced to quit eating solid food because of his cancer.  He may not have been eating, but he was certainly cooking and thinking and writing about food.

He had always liked cooking and, as most of his early photos attest, he liked eating.  But he lost a lot of weight after going to a Pritikin based health spa.  He adopted very healthy eating habits and was always irked, later, when people thought that he had lost weight because of his health problems.

This book apparently began with a blog post about cooking with a rice cooker.  Ebert explains that you can cook almost anything with this one pot.  The pot doesn't even have to be very fancy - just one with a single knob that sets to "Cook" and "Warm."

Ebert has cooked many meals with a rice cooker and took it along with him to the Sundance Film Festival since it was easy to pack and could be used in a hotel room.  He recommends rice cooker cooking to singles, monks, students, film critics, etc as an easy, cheap and convenient way to make a meal.

When I first heard about the book and after reading the first few chapters, I thought that I'd try it for myself. But there's too much guess work.  Too much "that's about right" type cooking.  Still, it was a very entertaining book.  It does contain a few recipes sent in by some of the readers of his blog.
The rest of the book reads like a conversation.  It's as if Roger Ebert is in your kitchen (or you are in his) and he's explaining why he loves cooking this way and how you can get in on the fun, too.

I will stick to my slow cooker - advice that he gives to one of his readers who says that she'd like to try a rice cooker but she is dedicated to her slow cooker.  The main message of his book is do what you want to.  It seems to be what rice cooker cooking is all about.

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