As I get ready to go out for a walk just now, I nonchalantly measured some rice into my rice cooker and set it to cook. It occurred to me then what a wonderful appliance the rice cooker is. It works all the time, faithfully delivering perfectly cooked fluffy white rice. It never needs maintenance and it runs for years before it breaks down. Well, it never really breaks down, to be honest. It just suffers from cosmetic aging and you feel obliged to replace it when you remodel your kitchen.
The rice cooker is indeed a great marvel of kitchen productivity. When I was small, I used to cook rice in a wood fired stove. I had to light the fire, keep it going until the rice is cooked. Then I had to remove the wood so that the rice doesn't get crisp. Cooking rice was a chore then. Now it is just a flip of the switch. Even tried cooking rice over a gas burner? It isn't any easier.
Like our parents, the humble rice cooker is always there when we need it. We often forget that it is ever there, except when we want to scoop rice out of it. It never breaks down; it never fusses. We often fail to appreciate what it does for us, just like how many of us fail to show appreciation to our parents. Yes, it could do with a little more respect too.