A love letter to my Zojirushi
Is that actually your real name? I feel bad, because in all the years we’ve been together, I never bothered to ask. I kind of want to call you Grandma now. Maybe because my great-grandma was a badass and scooped fresh rice straight into her hand while we were making onigiri that one time while I was sitting there nursing a ball that was still too hot through a towel and plastic wrap. Or maybe it’s because you’re hella old and could probably be a grandma to other rice cookers. But I knew you best by your brand name, so I guess I’ll just stick with that.
We were together a long time, though, weren’t we, Zoj? I looked it up and they stopped making your model back in 2001. If you were a person, you’d be old enough to vote. That’s crazy, right?
We may not have spent all of those 19 years together, but we’ve definitely been through a lot: 4 boyfriends, 5 years of college, the death of one of my childhood pets, my first published piece of writing, and my first real job. Pretty good for a kitchen appliance, don’t you think?
We sure had some good times. I mean most of those times involved rice, but rice is delicious so I’m not complaining. You may have sort of forgot how to make rice toward the end there, but having you around always made me feel warm inside. You took such good care of me, turning inedible grains of rice into real sustenance.
When I was too sick, or too sad, or just too busy to make myself proper food, you were always there for me. When I didn’t feel Japanese enough, when people second-guessed my heritage, you were always the thing I could point to that made me feel enough. I might not be 100% Japanese, but at least I had a Japanese rice cooker. No matter how silly that seems, it really did help. And finally owning a rice cooker that was all mine will always be a rite of passage I’ll be grateful for.
But now I have a new rice cooker. I think you’d like her. You may have only had an on/off switch, but this new one is crazy fancy: different settings, a better warmer, a timer, you name it. She even sings me a little song when my rice is done cooking. It’s pretty neat.
I never want to forget the good times we had, though, Zoj, because you were my very first rice cooker and I think that still means something. Thanks for the memories (and the rice); I wouldn’t trade them for the world.