Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Gratitude Challenge: My new kitchen toy

A good friend of mine, Brenda at Garden of Learning, put together a Gratitude Challenge.  The idea is to post for every day in November about something you are thankful for.

So -- Day Ten  --

I got a rice cooker!  One of those that costs a bit of money -- but not an ultra fancy super expensive one.  Just not one of those $5 after rebate jobbies at Walgreens.

I actually got it over the weekend.  But we used it for the first time tonight.  I threw together some chicken, rice, veggies, and... well, let me back it up a bit.

Back when I lived in Minnesota, I used to cook rice fairly often.  On the stove.  It turned out decent at least 90% of the time.  It was always, at worst, edible.  Then we moved to Colorado.  I tried making my usual dishes, but the altitude just killed me.  I mastered baking fairly quickly, and gradually got to the point that I could make most things again.

But not rice.  Every. Single. Time. I cooked rice, it would either still be crunchy, or it would be mush (with a burnt crust on the bottom).  I started getting instant rice mixes -- and those would turn out edible, but not RIGHT.

I bought a cheap rice cooker.  That gave us edible rice... for about 4 times.  Then it would either be crunchy with a burnt crust on the bottom, or mush with a burnt crust on the bottom.

I thought maybe it was just me... so I tried making rice on one of our trips back to ND/MN.  It wasn't fabulous, but it WAS edible.

I keep thinking, "I'm a grown woman and am completely capable of figuring this out."  So I kept buying rice, then being afraid to use it.  You know, because it would either be crunchy or mush, with a burnt crust on the bottom.

So -- I bought a rice cooker.  A real one.  With a steamer basket, and buttons besides just on and off.

And I used it tonight for the first time... and we all agreed... this was the absolute best rice we have EVER eaten at home.  It was perfect.  Perfect, I tell you.  I can't wait to be able to make jambalaya again.  Or to be willing to stir-fry.

Maybe it won't last.  But maybe it will.  And maybe I'll finally be able to start using that 50-60 pounds of rice we own.  (I wish I was exaggerating.  WHY do I keep buying rice when I never make any?)


Tristan said...

mm, we love rice and bought a rice cooker finally this year - heavenly! Enjoy it!

Michelle Smith said...

LOL at your stockpile of rice! ;) Seriously, I am glad that you finally have a way to cook rice. I'm not sure of your exact altitude, but higher elevation DOES affect baking and cooking. I'm impressed that you have been able to master other dishes at high altitude.

Debra said...

Tristan-- glad I'm not the only one!

Michelle-- yep, altitude impacts everything in cooking. I *knew* it was going to mean re-learning how to bake, but it just never occurred to me that I wouldn't be able to make rice, or use dried beans. I think as of right now (having been here sixteen years), I might actually have it all down... oh, and "town" is 6100 feet, we might actually be a bit above that.

And my rice stash-- it started when I was able to make a Sam's run last winter. I decided I was going to master rice, so I bought a 25 lb bag. Came home, discovered that I had a 5 lb bag in the cupboard I had forgotten about, along with a 2-3 1 lb bags I knew were there. Since then, well, I seem to end up with another 3 pounds every month. I think we could eat rice daily for a year and not use it up.

SisterTipster said...

Sounds YUMMY~hope you all enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing! hugs!

Tess said...

Yay!!! So glad that the rice cooker worked! I could not cook rice (and I'm a good cook and I do not have altitude to blame) until we got a rice cooker. Now you can start sharing rice recipes!

Unknown said...

Sounds wonderful! Now I have another kitchen item to put on my list.