The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #165215   Message #3962925
Posted By: Stilly River Sage
23-Nov-18 - 02:03 PM
Thread Name: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
I remembered some of this discussion last night when most of my small family and a couple of friends were at my house for Thanksgiving dinner. "No one, absolutely NO ONE is to give me one of those multi-cooker things." They asked if this was a xmas list tip. "Yes. You won't find one of those things on my list." It was more of a threat than a non-wish.

The pots and pans and few devices I own each have their own characteristics, and I am not interested in discarding the bulk of these so one thing can take over and do a half-assed job on an assortment of dishes.

I had always thought a rice cooker was overkill, then I started reading what the movie critic and cancer survivor Roger Ebert said about them. He had to get his food through a tube for the last several years of his life, but he was always really focussed on real food. This is just one article about his attitudes, so a few years ago I spent about $50 for a Cuisinart rice cooker that is just what he says, cook and warm, and it has a bonus stainless steel basket that fits over the top for steaming while the rice cooks. I like this because the rice doesn't burn to the bottom of the pan (though in some cultures, "pegau" or singed rice, is a delicacy. My Puerto Rican ex taught us all that you NEVER put the pot in the sink to soak when there is rice stuck burned to the bottom. You scrape out that delicacy and put it on the top of the platter of food.)

The iron skillets are precious for sauteed foods, I have a couple of non-stick pans for other specific things that would be hard on the seasoned finish of the skillets. The stainless deep pot "Dutch oven" has as set of uses (pot roasts, boiling potatoes, soups, etc.) and the deep "chicken fryer" cast iron skillet with the well-fitting lid has others. The deep Cuisinart enameled dutch oven is great for stove-top or oven dishes like pot roasts, stew, etc. The graniteware roaster and the Romertopf clay baker are primarily for roasting chickens, etc. The pressure cooker doesn't get used often, it generally speeds of several of those other tasks already mentioned. I am not convinced that one device can replace all of those and certainly the volume it holds doesn't match all of the other devices.

The rice cooker is perfect for rice and other grains; I add things to it and (for example) have a pot of chicken and rice (isn't that the original comfort food for cultures around the world?) and broccoli or cauliflower steamed to go alongside. I'm not finished exploring the rice cooker, I'm not willing to add another universal device to the kitchen.

/rant off

No, I am not putting you on the Rice Diet. Eat what you like. I am thinking of you, student in your dorm room. You, solitary writer, artist, musician, potter, plumber, builder, hermit. You, parents with kids. You, night watchman. You, obsessed computer programmer or weary web-worker. You, lovers who like to cook together but don't want to put anything in the oven. You, in the witness protection program. You, nutritional wingnut. You, in a wheelchair.

And you, serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. You, person on a small budget who wants healthy food. You, shut-in. You, recovering campaign worker. You, movie critic at Sundance. You, sex worker waiting for the phone to ring. You, factory worker sick of frozen meals. You, people in Werner Herzog's documentary about life at the South Pole. You, early riser skipping breakfast. You, teenager home alone. You, rabbi, pastor, priest,, nun, waitress, community organizer, monk, nurse, starving actor, taxi driver, long-haul driver. Yes, you, reader of the second-best best-written blog on the internet.