The one thing I hadn´t tried in that Gourmet article about rice cookers I go on and on about was the polenta. It seemed too good to be true, but I needen´t have been so mistrusting. It works a treat. You put the cornmeal and the water and a bit of salt and in a short while there is a creamy mush inside, beckoning with its promise of bland comfort.
I don´t adore polenta, so I wouldn´t be making vast batchces of these, except that I´ve discovered that my baby loves it. This is great because I can plug the thing when we get back from our evening walk and it´s ready by the time P comes out of the bath, hungry.
But even more wonderful, she is just as happy to be fed it the next day. Now, if I am to eat old polenta, it has to be grilled to a crisp and dusted with Parmesan, but P, bless her, knows no better, and is perfectly happy to it wolf down, barely warmed in the microwave. She finds it very easy to spear with a fork and eat it on her own, so it´s all win-win.
Therefore, even at the risk of being a complete bore, I will rework my mantra and say it this way : "parents of toddlers, get yourselves a rice cooker, NOW!"
Seriously. I have always enjoyed the idea of food that cooks itself, but when there is a young varmint in the house who has just learnt the trick of climbing onto chairs and diving off them, it becomes a necessity.