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December 31, 2005

Happy New Year

By Ezra

You know you're getting a bit older when you channel some of your holiday cash into a rice cooker and are damn excited about it. Creeping mortality aside, it's been a good year for me on a variety of fronts, most notably professionally, where I escaped college in three years and was hired by my first choice: The American Prospect. That, of course, was a direct result of all you folks in blogland who keep pinging my hit counter and making me look much more successful, intelligent, and nerdy than I really am. So thanks for that, I owe ya one.

We're also rounding on the one-year anniversary of this site. It was January 25th, 2005 when ezraklein.typepad.com opened it's doors, and the solo venture has been all I could hope for. Much thanks also to my weekend guest bloggers, who allow me to keep up pretenses of social life and infuse the blog with a vitality that carries through the week, and particularly Shakespeare's Sister, who carried out the redesign and made the place feel much homier.

Looking forward, 2006 will see some significant changes to the site, which you'll be hearing about soon. I also hope to expand the list of weekend bloggers and attract some expert voices when events make them valuable. We'll see. In any case, thanks -- folks like to say that they blog just for themselves, but it's rarely true. A blog for my eyes only wouldn't have created anything near the intellectual or professional growth this one set in motion, and I'm profoundly grateful for all it, and you, have given me.

Happy New Year. And now, if you'll excuse me, it's time to go get drunk.

December 31, 2005 | Permalink

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Comments

I really wish more Democrats would blog about getting drunk. Preferably on things real people drink, like Miller lite. (Union made!)

Posted by: Drew Miller | Dec 31, 2005 10:16:16 PM

Also, my roommate has a rice cooker, which is great. Basmati rice is the shit.

Posted by: Drew Miller | Dec 31, 2005 10:18:55 PM

Ya know, quit drinking 20 years ago but I still keep getting Blackjack every year. I put them up on the shelf instead of giving them away in the hope that an occasion will arise. Got three, should be adequate when the impeachment comes down.

In the meantime, have one for your fans. And welcome to 2006.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Jan 1, 2006 1:03:28 AM

I do not understand the attraction of rice cookers. But maybe that's cause I'm a girl. Don't you guys know how to cook without technology?

Posted by: KathyF | Jan 1, 2006 3:17:04 AM

KathyF,

I presume you only cook from a campfire after making the fire yourself, and that you use neither clocks nor timers nor measuring devices during your food prep and cooking time, because those are "technology" as well.

Anyway, they're convenient, which is why most people buy them and use them, including a high percentage of folks who come from countries where folks were cooking rice while the European side of my family were running around Europe in animal skins.

You remind me of a great-aunt from the Asian side of my family who was insulted when someone gave her a rice cooker because she thought they were implying that she couldn't cook rice well by her lonesome.

Posted by: The Dark Avenger | Jan 1, 2006 4:18:13 AM

By "technology" I suspect that Kathy's referring to plug-in gizmos whose only purpose is to produce a single item, and I agree with her: all I need to make good rice is a decent saucepan, a measuring cup for the water, a clock, and a burner. And I can use all of those things to do literally hundreds of other things in the kitchen, too.

(Although I do want a George Forman grill someday...and a KitchenAid mixer....)

Posted by: Jaquandor | Jan 1, 2006 8:45:44 AM

Exactly, Jaquandor. Rice is quite easy to make without one, plus a rice cooker seems like a difficult thing to wash up. I'm a minimalist in the kitchen.

Posted by: KathyF | Jan 1, 2006 10:26:34 AM

Rice cookers seem like really cool devices, and the geek in me is tempted. But apart from the fact that I can already make perfect rice in a pot and that I really don't want an extra device to clean, I just don't have the storage space or counter space for one. We already have a toaster oven, slow cooker, stand mixer and a bunch of other stuff that is more valuable to us (space, money, maintenance) than a device whose prime purpose is already perfectly fulfilled by a simple steel pot.

Those of you with few other appliances, more space and/or the need for large quantitites of rice perfectly cooked one or more times a day can go nuts with the rice cooker.

Posted by: Mary | Jan 1, 2006 10:34:58 AM

Rice cookers are great. They are simple to use, in that you don't have to watch the pot for doneness, and 'keep warm' is impossible to do on a normal stove. and you can cook lots of things with them, not just rice. also much more efficient. particularly important if your apartment only has two burners on the range.

Posted by: anon | Jan 1, 2006 12:29:45 PM

Happy New Year to you, too! And be sure to follow the warning label on that rice cooker, which says "Do not use if you are completely blotto."

Posted by: Pepper | Jan 1, 2006 2:49:36 PM

plus a rice cooker seems like a difficult thing to wash up.

No, it isn't really, unless you're going to let the last inch or so of cooked rice stay there for a while and get hard as it loses moisture. You get nothing like the crust that forms at the bottom of stove-cooked rice if you know what you're doing.

I prefer jasmine rice, btw.

Posted by: The Dark Avenger | Jan 1, 2006 6:00:08 PM

I love rice. I use five kinds, each must be cooked differently. Texmati(Basmati), Japanese sticky, Brown/Wild, Risotto, and little bags you throw in the microwave.

Can you use a rice cooker to make Risotto?

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Jan 1, 2006 9:16:08 PM

Bob, the answer to your question is no.

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