As I've mentioned, there is a terrific, high-end outlet mall in Primm, Nevada, at the state line with California, where I generally stay on my last night coming back from the Consumer Electronics Show. One of the stores there is Williams-Sonoma.
I like to browse through kitchen appliances for reasons that aren't quite explicable, but they have such great items, many of which I'd like to use, most of which I never will. But I came across something on my recent visit that intrigued me.
I like to make rice (and actually have a good recipe for something so simple that I read in an interview with Julia Child. Two parts water to one part rice. Bring it to a boil, then cook it covered on a low heat for 15 minutes. And then turn the heat off and let it sit for 10 minutes. I play around with a bit because I like a "crust" on my rice, but that's basically it.). However, there's one issue that I think plagues everyone who makes rice -- the starchy water bubbles up and spills out of the pot over the stove. You either have to watch it all the time (not high on my list of things to do), or leave the top off a crack to let the steam out (something Julia wouldn't approve of)...and even then there will be spillover.
What I saw at Williams-Sonoma was something called the "Kochblume Spill Stopper" from a Swiss company, Kuhn-Rikon. You can find it here.
It can also be used as a steamer, and is microwave safe, so it can be a cover in your microwave. Also, the centerpiece pops out, so that it can be used as a splatter guard. (It says so on the package, but that made no sense to me. So I went to the website. What it refers to is for use in, generally, baking. You put it over your mixing bowl, remove the center, and stick your electric mixer blades through it.)
I think it retails for $30, a bit steep, but the Williams-Sonoma outlet store had it for $20. Given that the annoying spill of starchy rice water annoys me enough that I often don't cook rice even though I like it so much, I figured it was worth trying. And I'm glad I did. I think it also is available at Sur La Table stores, and I believe that Kuhn Rikon has an online U.S. distributor through their website (linked above). I would also assume that there are other like-products available, some fairly inexpensive. After all, it's just a piece of rubber with a floppy cover in the center. But the Kuhn-Rikon is very well-made and therefore can serve other uses. And especially worthwhile when it can be found, as here, for a reasonable price.
And that's today's food tip. Buon gusto...