So after I crashed in following a long silence (I’ve been busy doing fuck all! It’s very important) to explain that you can boil an egg in a Thermos Jar, an important discovery for someone who eats as many eggs as I do (did you know you can also wok-steam eggs in the top of a stir-fry or soup? Did you know you can bake eggs in the oven and cook them in a microwave and that I would probably have some weird protein deficiency if I didn’t remember to eat eggs occasionally because I keep forgetting there are food groups which aren’t “vegetable”?), vegan friend and Two-Fisted Librarian Matthew informed me that “couscous is another easy thing you can make”.
Now personally I consider it a crisis situation if I have to eat couscous. It’s not in my top fifty “things I want to eat”. It’s improved by sauces and so on and generally not being presented plain and with herbs on it while so dry that you can feel it forming angry clay in your stomach, which is how I consumed it as a young ‘un, but the association is strong and I’d Prefer Not To. One of the great things about being an adult is that unless there are no other options you can Prefer Not To and not eat something. You don’t have to invent a food intolerance or fake your own death or have an important moral reason not to, you can genuinely just say “nah, not into it”. Amazing!
But I do like other grain-type-things. I mean, I basically live on rice these days.
Previous experiments with microwave-your-own-rice contraptions, which ended in defeat and a very large microwave rice cooker, and then later in just caving in and buying a proper rice cooker in which you can make ALMOST ANYTHING IMAGINABLE (I am still not over this, you can make CAKE and OMELETTE and SOUP, I bet you could bake a fucking potato in one), have taught me that I am still thirsting/hungering for a way to make a small portion of rice without inconveniencing myself.
Which is where Matthew’s comment about the Thermos Jar comes in: the minimum amount of rice you can cook in my blindingly wonderful mini rice cooker is given as “80” on the measuring cup. I assume this means 80ml. It is hard to tell. It is merely “80”. One is advised not to use a smaller amount.
Now I’ve just done an unscientific experiment with the trusty Thermos Jar What I Got From A Charity Shop For A Quid (it rattles) in which I was also boiling an egg, and lobbed in a tablespoon of sushi rice To See What Would Happen, because one of the other things about being a grown-up is that I can decide to do things like that. Sometimes this results in horrifying experiences and sometimes it results in delicious ones. This time, pouring boiling water into a Thermos Jar, sealing it, and then fucking off to watch David Attenborough talking about plants for a longer time than intended resulted in something else, i.e. cooked rice.
I plan to try again and work out which proportion of uncooked rice to hot water is necessary to get just rice and no leftover liquid after expansion and whether stirring dashi in as well gets a good, even distribution, but I have reasonable hopes that you can, in fact, cook rice in a Thermos.
[If this turns out to be the case I’m seeing a certain application for those who want to have a hot lunch at work and don’t have a microwave, or those who, as mentioned before, cannot really afford to have something running on electricity for the time it takes to make a hot meal].