Thursday, August 19, 2010


The electronic store is making a lot of money off of the Watanabe family this week.

By the way, I took my external hard drive and computer to the store and someone very kindly gave me a private lesson on how to use the thing. I think I can (at least for the next few days until I forget) back up some of things in my computer.

Back to other reasons why we are supporting the Japanese economy. The same day of our car problems, Tetsu inadvertently sent our old rice cooker to its grave. He was washing it for me and I guess water got into its inner parts. So for four days we've been without a rice cooker and have been eating noodles. Tetsu tried numerous repair jobs but to no avail. The 15 year old rice cooker is not to be resurrected.

As a conscientious husband who holds himself accountable for the broken rice cooker, Tetsu went out yesterday (different electronic store than the one I was at) and bought us a new rice cooker. Mid-state of the art model...

Last year I think I mentioned that my mother had given Takumi money for a rice cooker and many of you were surprised at why a rice cooker should cost so much. Marcy was horrified too but I have to say, a good rice cooker is worth its weight in gold. Tetsu can spend all he wants on a rice cooker! Since rice is a staple in Japanese cuisine, not only does the rice cooker have to make delicious rice (no soppy sticky stuff nor too chewy) but it also has to be easy to clean. We eat rice 6 days out of 7!

Sorry Marcy, your thin, aluminum rice cooker with the lid that jiggles while the rice cooks does NOT make the grade for the Japanese palate. And I shudder every time I wash it for you and find enough rice stuck in the pot to feed another person! Rice cookers need to be Teflon coated to make for swish and wipe cleaning!

So Tetsu's new expensive rice cooker (think about $200 but they run up to about $500) is supposed to do magic things with Induction Heating and Pressure Cooker controls. I will have to study how to make rice again!

And while I'm on the subject of rice, this is the way we buy rice in Japan. This is a 30 kilo (65 pounds) bag of rice directly from the farmer. We used to go through this quite easily when the kids were living here but nowadays Tetsu will give half to his mother (who will give half of that to Tetsu's sister). I'm not sure how long this will last us...

And here's a picture of the new rice cooker sitting on its throne. This is a cabinet made especially to hold rice cookers. (Actually I'd like to buy a new cabinet too....) Since steam is emitted from the top of the cooker, the shelf slides out so that the steam doesn't get trapped under the next shelf (which holds our microwave). Next to the new rice cooker is the Tupperware I use to keep a more manageable quantity of rice, but actually under the rice cooker is the rice dispenser. It is supposed to keep the 30 kilos of rice and dispense the right amount according to the number of cups you are cooking. I don't use the rice dispenser anymore (that's why I want a new cabinet) because we don't eat the rice fast enough and I once found bugs in it. Yuck. It is so old it probably has holes in the back that I can't get to...

Let's see... Tonight's menu is going to be miso soup, grilled fish, cold tofu, simmered pumpkin, and RICE!

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