Roger Ebert, famed movie critic, wrote an epic blog post in November of 2008, entitled “The Pot and How to Use It.” No, it wasn’t about putting crappy moves in the right place. It was an ode to the rice cooker. The blog post begat a book, entitled The Pot and How to Use It: The Mystery and Romance of the Rice Cooker, to be released in September. The product description explains how this “charming, practical guide … contains numerous and surprisingly varied recipes for electric rice cookers.” What it fails to mention is that, after thyroid cancer surgery four years ago, Ebert can no longer speak or eat. He uses a feeding tube.

So why a cookbook? “I think I was somewhat frustrated by not being able to eat and I wanted to live vicariously,” he said during an interview in his Chicago home, conducted using a computer voice simulator.

Through whom is he hoping to live vicariously? The rice cooker is a versatile tool, good for everyone from the “person on a small budget” to the “sex worker waiting for the phone to ring,” he wrote on his blog. If you didn’t think rice cooking was a prime topic for witty quips and zingers, think again. In response to those who hesitate to add salt to oatmeal cooked in the rice cooker, Ebert presents the case of microwave oatmeal: “It’s loaded with salt, corn syrup, palm oil and coconut oils—the two deadliest oils on earth. But it’s high fiber, you say? Terrific. You can die of a heart attack during a perfect bowel movement.”

Bravo, Roger. Many many thumbs up!

Image source: Flickr member alex.schultz under Creative Commons

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