Today I decided to make rice pudding. Derek found a recipe for making it in a rice cooker
and I love my rice cooker. (If curious, my rice cooker is this one
That site says it will help you to make "meals that don't need to be stirred, rarely take more than 45 minutes to cook, and [you] only have to clean one pot."
So of course you can imagine how well that went for me.
A little bit of personal info: I am a terrible cook. Surprisingly, I am a good baker. I don't know why this is. Logically, I know that it's all just chemistry in the kitchen. In practice, I burn things, let them boil over, drop them, drop things in
them, break them by looking at them too hard, and just generally fail. I don't know why I can bake. It seems like it should be harder.
But today I thought, "Rice pudding is a dessert, so that's very nearly baking." Because that makes sense, doesn't it? As if bread is a dessert. "Shut up, brain, I'm doing this," I told myself.
My brain is smarter than me. Oh, it started out well. I put in rice, I let it cook, and then I added sugar and milk. I turned the rice cooker on again and wandered away. After a while, I went back to see how it was doing. The recipe said to cover and come back after 20 minutes. I would guess I went in after about 10. When I stirred it, there was an awful brown layer on the bottom, which was sad and kind of surprising. Also, my rice cooker was not on "cook"; it was on "warm," which is not quite "off" but rather more like "not on," and that was very confusing because it shouldn't have been. I tried turning it on to "cook" again, but my rice cooker didn't wanna (temperature sensor, maybe). Derek taped the button down and I thought, "Aha, we are smarter than this device that thinks it's smarter than us."
I'm not so sure the rice cooker wasn't the smart one. Although maybe it was just the evil one. I went back in after five minutes and there was milk EVERYWHERE and it was sputtering and when I eeped and opened it there were milk bubbles filling my entire rice cooker (which is a large one, larger than the recipe writer's). Milk on the wall. Milk all over the counter; at least half a cup of milk just pooling there. Sugary sticky ricey milk.
But the texture was still wrong, so I stirred it and went away and came back every three minutes instead of every five and that involved much less explosion of milk. It finally had a texture that I called "good enough because this is too scary and milk might be even more everywhere next time I come in" and unplugged the rice cooker.
And actually it's very good rice pudding.
The funniest part was that, because the rice cooker's pot-thingy is nonstick, Derek was able to peel up the whole bottom as a brown-black sugar-rice... layer. He folded it carefully and gently deposited it directly into the trash. I'm pretty sure I could go unfold it if I wanted. But I don't think I want that.
It took quite a while just to clean up the sticky ricey sugar milk. So when something says it's very easy to cook and very simple to clean, it really is not
. At least if you're me.
Do try not to be me.