But can the first dude cook rice?

    

In my travels on the internet yesterday, I was tickled to find 2 newspaper pieces that probably would have no correlation in your mind unless you’ve been a foreign student in East Asia. When I was studying in Taiwan in the mid-80s, there was a running joke about foreign students (particularly the guys) falling in love with and (against the advice of any professor who runs the year-abroad orientation sessions) marrying the local girls. The somewhat icky sexist punchline to “What are you taking your mother when you go home?” then was “A rice cooker!”

Browsing the newspapers’ food sections yesterday (when DID Wednesday become THE day for newspapers to cover food and dining, anyway?) I came across a fun article in the New York Times about the wonderful ways in which rice cookers (the appliance!) have made their way into our lives.

Moving on to more serious matters – such as my real job! – I browsed around for articles on religion and immediately found a piece in the Los Angeles Times that talked about how evangelicals, particularly the women, are dealing with the idea of Sarah Palin becoming Vice President: some see a threat to the belief that “loving male headship and gracious wifely submission are God’s plan for spouses,” while others take a more conciliatory view:

Many say that biblical restrictions on women’s leadership apply to church and home, not the secular world – clearing the way for a woman to run the nation but not a congregation. And so long as Palin’s husband, Todd, approves, they say, her career conforms with teachings on wifely duties.

Call me twisted, but I did find it highly amusing to move from one article to the other – it made me wonder whether we had better not ask the important questions at the debate tonight: “Governor, CAN the ‘first dude’ cook rice? Because if he can’t, I have some good news – the Zojirushi company is now making cooking a snap, freeing you up to run the country….”

Seriously, though, I do encourage you to check out the rice cooker article, temptingly titled “The Steamy Way to Dinner” for some great ideas and some good advice on purchasing a rice cooker if you don’t already own one. I’m tempted to try a few of the recipes/experiments myself, although I must warn you that if you do try to cook congee in one, be sure to soak the rice well beforehand – we had a messy overflow situation at our house on that one….

Okay, back to recipes tomorrow, and some yummy pictures to add to previous posts.

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