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The Pot and How to Use It: The Mystery and Romance of the Rice Cooker

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  • Posted September 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer


    If you think reading a cookbook isn't fun you haven't looked at the latest by Pulitzer Prize winning film critic Roger Ebert. In what other collection of recipes will you find limericks and directions such as "add a splash of" or "throw in some pineapple chunks"? But then, as Ebert writes, "This is not an instruction book. It is an evocation of the ancient spirit of the Pot." And, of course, what those directions in the form of asides do is encourage you to experiment, create dishes that suit your taste and preference.

    However, there is one teaching on which he is quite clear - in fact, it is the heading of Chapter 4 "Get The Pot" And his pot of choice is Zojirushi. A pint sized beauty now resting comfortably on our kitchen counter. One test try with this and we're converts to Ebert's way of thinking - the rice was so much fluffier, actually tastier. We tried his "Salty Rice with Tuna" - completely satisfying with a modicum of saltiness.

    Now, we did not follow his directions exactly because he suggested we add "a squirt of that spicy red chili sauce in the bottle with the green lid and the Chinese characters on it." Didn't I tell you THE POT AND HOW TO USE IT was fun? We're still looking for that easily identifiable bottle.

    While this book is a breezy, enjoyable read it is also studded with nuggets of information re healthy eating, what is nutritious and what is not. Plus a chapter is devoted to "Your Comments," consisting of readers' responses to Ebert's blog. Here we find discussions of various rice cookers (from those that "spewed water all over the place" to a $12.99 beloved cheapie), as well as favorite recipes that include everything from "Seafood Jambalaya" to "Chicken and the Usual Suspect Vegetables." After a bit you'll be amazed at what you can and what you want to prepare in your rice cooker (yes, you can steam eggs, and yes, you can bake a cake).


    - Gail Cooke

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 28, 2011

    This is a fun read

    But I am a little dissapointed. I've been trying to learn how to cook with fewer culinary failures, and suggestions to just experiment until you find what works is a little too close to what's causing those kitchen disasters in the first place. It is a fun read, and I already own a rice pot, but now I'm actually worried about trying to use it (especially after that comment about rice cookers knowing how to cook rice but not doing so well with knowing how to cook other foods). HOWEVER, I would highly reccomend this for someone who lives in a place where they can't have a stove, like a dorm, or someone who travels a lot and wants to cook in a hotel room (like Rodger did during Sundance). Also, if you enjoy reading books that simply talk about the love of food and cooking, this is for you.

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    Posted October 17, 2010

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    Posted March 7, 2011

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