Before I tell you who won the rice cooker, I have to say that I really enjoyed reading all of your responses to my question "Why do you like rice?". The thoughts, memories, and insights that you all shared made me realized that there's more to rice than the sustenance it provides. For some people, it conjures up an image from their past, for others, it's part of their identity, and for others still, it's an addiction, like crack, or bacon...
Here are a few of my favorite responses to the question:
"Why do I like rice? My mother told me that as a baby, I was set on top of rice sacks, rather than in a baby/high chair, to be fed. I am practically made out of rice . . ." - Tangled Noodle
"Wow. I love rice for so many reasons, probably most of all because, in the words of Mitch Hedberg, "Rice is great if you're really hungry and want to eat two thousand of something."" - Lindsay
"Growing up I always ate rice, but never appreciated it the way I do now. Being half Japanese in a not so Japanese area, I guess then I really wanted to assimilate and as a result did not appreciate rice as I do today. Now, I appreciate the ritual of cleaning the rice, adding water until it reaches the first knuckle of my middle finger and of course eating the delicious, freshly cooked rice – as I learned from my mother. It is the center of our meals and it is something that I embrace now. Whether I eat my rice with natto, furikake, katsuo bushi, umeboshi, takuan, gohan desu yo or make onigiri, takikomi, maze gohan, okowa, omurice, karei, I now appreciate the importance of rice as a food staple, but more importantly , as an integral part of my personal history."- Sally
"I like rice because I can smush it up and dry it and use it for shoes if I wish." - Ladymia69
"I don't know why I like rice. I just do. It brings back memories of school lunches where the rice all stuck together in a clump and had just the right amount of butter. I'd ignore everything else to have it at lunch time. It's sort of funny because we almost never had rice at home and then it was always that minute rice stuff. I liked that too, but was in love with the school rice. It still haunts my memory and I'm always trying to get my rice just like theirs." - Tom
"Rice brings to mind so many good food memories! One of the best took place in Peru where I ate steaming hot fish grilled on a banana leaf. It was accompanied with a humble pile of sticky rice, yucca, and aji sauce (lovely native chile pepper)." - April
"I like rice because I go to Rice! Jk, but seriously, I go to Rice University in Houston, TX. I love rice mainly because I'm Asian, but also because it is the food of my childhood and because no matter where I am, a steaming, fluffy, beautiful bowl of rice will always take me back home to San Francisco, where my mom cooked rice for me pretty much every single day of my youth for lunch and dinner (for breakfast, we ate porridge--a.k.a. jook--that my mom made from leftover rice). I remember one time, after having traveled for two weeks for volleyball eating nothing but sandwiches and pasta, I came home expecting rice, and instead, my mom wanted to be exotic and made ravioli. I was pissed. But I ate it anyways because I love her.
I also love rice for another reason. My parents are both Chinese, but my dad, having grown up in Vietnam, is only Chinese by blood. He celebrates and actively participates in the Vietnamese culture, and growing up, I have often been conflicted with which heritage to claim to, and, growing up in Chinatown, San Francisco, I have often sided with the Chinese one. I was embarrassed of being Vietnamese. Being Vietnamese made me different from my Chinese friends because although our traditions were similar, they were nonetheless different. Despite this, a bowl of rice always brought us together, because it is absolute. It represents both of our cultures." - Tracey
"You know you love rice when:
- +you can eat it plain
- +you can eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
- +you can't go a day without craving it
- +you've developed classical conditioning to the subtle sound of steam rolling through the cooker's vents. In other word's: drooolin' like Pavlov's dogs.
I <3 rice because I'm addicted to it and I'm addicted to it because I love it." - Arom
So back to the winner... To be honest, I don't know who the winner is... I've sent them two emails and I haven't heard anything back. This leads me to believe that they either changed their mind and don't want it anymore, or my emails are going to their spam folder. So if your email address starts with an "eg" and is at yahoo.com, check your spam folder to see if you have some emails from me.
Update: The winner is Eileen from Nebraska, congratulations Eileen!
If you didn't win, there's still another rice cooker I'm giving away, so check here for the details.