LOOK! Me and Richard Simmons, reunited nearly three years after he disappeared from the public eye!
OK, OK, I’m not fooling anyone. CLEARLY, that’s a photograph of Richard. (I have plenty of pictures of me and Richard, though, see them here.)
The photo is on the box of an infomercial product he sold about ten years ago, called Steam Heat. It’s no longer on the market, but I bought a never-been-used one a couple days ago.
I have an alert set up, so whenever Richard is in the news, I get an email. The alert includes new Craigslist postings, so I routinely get notified when someone in Tallahassee or Peoria or wherever is selling Richard’s products or workout videos. I got an alert on Friday that someone in Los Angeles was selling this electronic steamer, and I decided, rather impulsively, that I wanted to buy it. So I did.
The truly bizarre thing was the seller turned out to be a friend and old co-worker that I hadn’t seen in 6 or 7 years, and I didn’t realize it until she opened the door, steamer in hand. Small world!
Richard introduced Steam Heat in 2006, five years before I met him. I’ve been aware of it since then, mostly because I remember watching Richard promote it on Letterman, and Letterman played a funny prank on him. (Since you’re watching videos, also check out a clip from the original Steam Heat informercial!)
I think timing has a lot to do with why I ended up buying the Steam Heat now. I’ve been taking more classes at Slimmons lately, since it’s closing for good in a few days, and Richard has been on my mind a lot. So when the alert arrived about a local seller (aka my friend Jessica) unloading one, it seemed like a good sign.
I’m glad I bought it, too, and I’m being completely honest. It’s a fun, easy machine. Steaming food isn’t difficult to begin with, but this appliance has enough gimmicks and features to make it even easier.
There are three compartments to steam food in, and each can be controlled separately. You program the time for each compartment, and start the machine, and the machine times it so all three compartments finish at the same moment. Pretty nifty!
For my first trial run, I put asparagus on one compartment, and a mixture of peppers, onions, and salsa in another.
The compartment bottoms have divots especially for eggs, so I couldn’t resist hard-boiling (hard-steaming?) half a dozen. In the spirit of my recent egg funeral post, which was very popular on social media, I decorated these eggs like they were headed for a day at the spa.
The eggs took the longest (20 minutes), and they were easy-to-peel and perfectly cooked. The veggies turned out great, too.
Would you like a bite, Richard?
(Why YES, I did shower and change while it was cooking!)
I’ve also already made chicken tenders in a spicy cilantro sauce, over zucchini (which tasted better than it looks)…
…and herb-crusted salmon with brown rice and broccoli:
If that looks like a large serving of rice, it is. But it’s not all rice. I measured out one serving of brown rice (1/4 cup dry), bulked it up with some riced cauliflower, added some saffron (which provided the yellow color), and cooked it all in chicken broth.
I like that I can steam different things at the same time, without hovering over a stove. And I’m aware that I’m raving about a product that hasn’t been sold for years! But if you really want one, I’m sure you could find them on Craigslist, like I did, or maybe eBay or Amazon Marketplace. Or you can buy this steamer, which looks remarkably similar, but costs $250.
Meanwhile, I’m on the hunt for steamer recipes and ideas. It came with a recipe book, which I haven’t really flipped through yet, but I will. What are your favorite things to steam?
Keep it up, David!
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