The first thing my father bought me when I announced that I intended to go to college in Maryland was a rice cooker. In fact, this is the exact one that he purchased. We've always had a rice cooker in the house. I remember seeing one in all my friends' and relatives' kitchens growing up. When you grow up in Hawaii, you tend to eat sticky rice on a regular basis. For example, a common breakfast is rice, eggs and Portuguese sausage or SPAM. You can order this at McDonald's, Jack In The Box, Liliha Bakery and at most places that serve breakfast. Rice is essential for my favorite form of "heart attack on a plate," the Loco Moco...a mound of sticky rice topped with a hamburger patty, maybe some grilled onion, a couple of eggs and brown gravy.
I purchased a rice cooker for DBF when we started getting serious because I knew I'd be spending a lot of time in his kitchen. It's the exact same model that my father purchased and I think that a 3 cup rice cooker is perfect for two people. 1 cup is enough, if I do the portioning, for one night's meal. 2 cups means that DBF can eat as much rice as he wants with dinner and we still have enough for 1 lunch. 3 cups means that I might have some leftover after packing lunches. Leftover rice is great, it's the central ingredient in fried rice and sticky rice reheats well in the microwave.
Supposedly one can cook things other than rice in a rice cooker. Mine came with a steamer insert that I've used to steam small quantities of vegetables. Some of the fancier ones have settings for soups and I've read about people making oatmeal in their rice cookers, something I need to try this weekend. So, technically one CAN make other things in a rice cooker...and thus it isn't a uni-tasker :)
I hope you all have a great weekend! - KP