Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Zojirushi: A Love Story

zojirushi-rice-maker-thermos-bread-maker-sur-la-tableSixteen years ago my husband and I got married. As is customary, we spent an afternoon before our wedding rushing around a department store greedily pointing to things we wanted people to buy for us in that bizarre American ritual known as 'Registering for gifts.' While I pondered the necessity of a lead crystal butter dish, my husband had the wisdom to add two of these Zojirushi stainless steel thermoses to our list. Those thermoses, like our marriage, have stood the test of time. (Insert "Keeping it hot!" joke here.)

And what awesome thermoses they are, able to keep our coffee hot for up to 7 hours during numerous road trips and still look stylish at the same time. And I've never spilled a drop with the ingenious pouring spout, even when my husband went over that curb that he thought was a speed bump. At some point we lost track of one of our trusty thermoses - probably pilfered by a jealous friend or 'borrowed' by a co-worker - but the one remaining still accompanies us on all of our trips. Is it the secret to our lasting marriage? I don't want to give it too much credit, but let's just say I'm much easier to get along with when I've got a cup of hot coffee in my hand.

So I was excited when Zojirushi invited me to a cooking demo to check out a couple of their new products being held at one of my favorite stores - Sur La Table. Here was a chance to see if anything else from their line could hold a candle to my stealth, 16-year-old thermos - perhaps something I could trade in my lead crystal butter dish for.

Once there we were treated to a great demo by one of their professional chefs who started off by showing us the Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker & Warmer. (Best. Name. Ever.) Now, being Japanese-American, my rice cooker is something that gets used pretty frequently in my house, but like my thermos it's an older model and couldn't hold a candle to the space-age looking machine they were demonstrating. The Neuro Fuzzy has separate settings for cooking long grain, short grain and brown rice, an automatic keep-warm feature and even plays a little song when the rice is done. Do YOU have any appliances that sing to you? I didn't think so.

Next up was the Home Bakery Supreme Bread Maker. I've never owned a bread maker since it isn't something I ever thought I'd use - I prefer to pick up my bread in those gigantic economy packs at Costco like normal people do. But then they showed us how you can make meat loaf in this thing. Yes, they also told us about all the varieties of white, wheat, and rye bread you could make, but I have to admit that after I heard about the meat loaf everything else was a blur. We had a taste of one they had made earlier and it was delicious - moist and flavorful. Did you hear me - MEAT LOAF! IN A BREAD MAKER! Personally I think they should re-name it the Meat Loaf Machine and it would fly off the shelves.

Our session ended with a sushi making lesson, and we had opportunity to make our own custom rolls. My fellow bloggers Kim, Heather and FujiMama and I were set loose with sushi mats, fresh rice from the Neuro Fuzzy and bowls of ingredients and by the end of the session we were all rolling like pros. They even taught us how to make a BLT sushi roll, which is just as heavenly and delicious as it sounds. And while I didn't splurge on any of the shiny new appliances they showed us, I'm putting them both on my list - I've heard people are even registering for anniversary gifts these days.

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2 comments:

KC said...

Dude - I have a Neuro Fuzzy and it rocks!!!! Best rice cooker ever. Not sure who named it.

Fuji Mama said...

I'm not sure how I missed this post! Just finding it! Yes, I have an older Zojirushi rice maker and am drooling over the Neuro Fuzzy! Love the story about the thermoses. :-) Let's do some Japanese cooking sometime!

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