Fuzzy Logic. That’s the jargony term the Zojirushi company uses for the magical way their rice cookers “know” when the sticky rice is done just perfectly. We bought a Zojirushi rice cooker with said Fuzzy Logic about 12 years ago when we bought our house. At the time I was dying because my husband insisted on getting a top of the line rice cooker, when I was just thinking of one of the $15 things we could get off one of the top shelves at Kmart or whatever. The Zojirushi cost more than $15. By a wide margin.
However, it was worth every penny. We have used the rice cooker at least twice a week, sometimes 4x a week, for all 12 years. I love it. It’s my favorite appliance ever. Hands down. That Fuzzy Logic defies logic because it makes the best sticky rice, and perfect every single time.
Until a month ago.
And it failed me.
The family was dumbfounded. Obviously, my kids instantly jumped to the conclusion that I’d lost my touch and that I was now and forever more a terrible cook.
But luckily my husband was more forgiving, although he did ask whether I added something odd to the batch or if I put in the right amount of rice. No, I made it the same way as always, a ratio of 1.5:1, water to rice, hit “quick cook” and voila! Yucky rice.
Then it was fine a couple of times, including for Basmati rice. Then, dun, dun, dun. It happened again. Yucky rice, fuzzy logic on the fritz, bad dinner.
Dinner was saved because the kids were willing to put the chicken sauce over steamed broccoli in lieu of rice (how can I be mad at kids that forgiving, even if they jump to wild conclusions?) However, there was great mourning throughout the land. The kids suggested a funeral for the rice cooker for family home evening. We could light candles and stuff. I was personally feeling so very sad, and almost cried. I know, that’s dumb, but this rice cooker is very special to me, you know?
Anyway, we looked up the price of a replacement cooker. Nowhere in our small town sells such a wonderful custom gadget as the Zojirushi, so it was the Internet or bust. We found a dealer selling one for $181. Man! I did not want to spend $181 on a rice cooker just now. No! This exacerbated the mourning.
The next morning the kids asked when the funeral was. I put them off. I wasn’t ready to let go. The thought of hauling it out to the trash hurt my heart. I dumped the bad batch of rice and let the appliance sit on the counter while I mulled a proper and fitting sayonara.
The next morning I woke up before my alarm clock by a couple of minutes. Why does that happen? It just does. Anyway, my brain got thinking as I lay there in bed, and it hit me—maybe the breakage didn’t apply to the whole rice cooker. Maybe it just applied to the “quick cook” setting.
It’d be like one of those last minute phone calls from the governor for the inmate on death row. I’d intervene and stop the funeral proceedings. And I did. Anddddddd, it worked! The regular setting made perfectly fuzzily logical rice!
So I made a second batch just to be sure. And it worked. And it was fine for the subsequent batches all last week. Hooray! The Zojirushi narrowly avoided a trip to the city dump, and we have delicious rice that takes just a bit longer to cook, and (thank you very much) I feel $181 richer. That might be fuzzy math (a la George W Bush) but I’ll calculate it that way and be happy to.