At War With Darth: My New Rice Cooker


Part of learning how to cook is the acquisition of new stuff. Or so I tell myself as I give in to my wee  bit of a shopping addiction in the kitchen department at T.J. Maxx.  Some stuff is really helpful, like my previously mentioned (and photographed) zester.  And my immersion blender which I’m in love with. When making easy creamed soups (Like Phyllis Theroux’s Best Soup in the World) you don’t have to put hot liquid cup by cup into the big blender and then pour into a bowl and do more cups and it’s all very hot and messy – you just pop this amazing (though slightly frightening looking) thing directly into the pot and blend or whip or whatever you need to do.


And then there’s my rice cooker; I’ve named it Darth. The first time I used it I apparently got the proportions wrong. It comes with its own measuring cup which is not a standard measure, plus instructions that so confused me that after a scary explosion of steam, Darth made rice fit only to use in rice pudding. The second time was a little more successful but not as good as making it the old fashioned way in a pot. I haven’t given up on Darth though. I have visions of him quietly making the rice and then keeping it warm some evening for a dinner party.

My electric juicer, which has resided on a garage shelf for many years, has turned out to be a necessity, what with all the zesting and juicing I’ve been doing lately. It just does its job and is easy to clean.  But then there’s the garlic press. Which I think is totally useless, it takes longer to clean it than to mince a whole head of garlic with a knife.

In the garage there’s also a food processor and something called The Bread Machine, both presents I gave to R. years ago and he never used. Stay tuned. And please leave a comment about any kitchen tool you’re crazy about or at war with.




  6 comments for “At War With Darth: My New Rice Cooker

  1. jean shriver
    January 5, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    Well Barbara….copied out the Isleford Seafood Bake and it sounds almost endless (but delicious). Not sure my intimidation will conquer that one! However, I’m amazed at your take on the rice cooker. My daughter in law gave me one years ago and it’s one reason why I often give guests rice…as you said it does it thing quietly and neatly and is ready to be served when needed. Did you wash your rice? Measure carefully? Can’t see what could go wrong. ps. This year the d-i-law gave me one of those robot vacuumers which I am terrified of!!

    • Barbara
      January 5, 2014 at 9:02 pm

      Hi Jean,
      The first time I didn’t wash the rice so that may account for the pudding effect. The second time I did wash it. Tonight I’m trying quina in it. Good luck with your new vacuum robot!

  2. Laura B.
    January 5, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    Sorry that Darth is so mean to you. I have always loved my rice cooker. I even throw carrots on top of the rice and cook those as well. Good luck!

  3. kara fox
    January 5, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    i love my immersion blender. here is what i do…saute a head of cauliflower, broken into pieces, with some chopped onion till lightly browned. add a 1/2 cup of vegetable broth. simmer till really soft. i add some butter and sometimes a little cream. and, you don’t need to add anything. puree with immersion blender. serve sprinkled with a little shredded parmesan cheese. great side dish…similar to how the ivy prepares it. i also make apple sauce with apple, dried cranberries, cinnamon and a little juice. simmer till soft and then blend.

    • Barbara
      January 7, 2014 at 9:53 pm

      I learned about immersion blenders from you. I love your recipes. Will try them soon.

  4. Barbara
    January 6, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    Darth’s instructions tell me that he too cooks vegetables. Once we get the rice under control I’ll give it a go.

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