The first yard sale of the season appeared in my neighborhood this weekend. Still early if you ask me. But there it was, featuring that item you find at virtually every yard sale because everybody’s got one and nobody really knows how to use them –- the electric rice cooker.
For reasons which escape me, one of the simplest things to cook –- rice –- has evolved complex digitized devices designed to cook it perfectly, yet few who purchase one find it makes the process either easier or simpler if we can get them to work at all.
And so the average rice cooker resides in the back of the bottom shelf of the darkest kitchen cupboard until somebody spots it and decides it will make a great addition to next weekend’s yard sale.
And there they sit, unsold even at a couple of bucks because -– we’ve all already got one. And even if it’s got more buttons than the one we picked up at some Chinese grocery or Sanko outlet when we decided we could make our own Sushi, it remains (to the North American mind at least) completely inscrutable.
So we pass it by for that other yard sale regular we also can never get to work right –- the electric bread maker.
Maybe that’s why a Japanese television network started a contest to find the best recipe for bread you make in a rice cooker.
In Japanese, either the contest or the bread is called “Yakitate” and it’s a huge hit, especially with kids. And since many of our kids series and competition shows were spawned in Japan, maybe it’s time to dig out your own rice cooker and get a head start.
There’s a recipe included in this Sunday’s video and another one here if you’re really inspired.
If you like the end product – great! At least you’ve finally found a use for your rice cooker, allowing you to ditch your bread maker to make room for a Keurig, Sodastream or some other device that delivers a product you can already buy ready made for a fraction of its cost not to mention that of the pre-packaged ingredients.
I’m betting there will be a ton of those at next year’s yard sales.
Enjoy Your Sunday.