When the boys marched off to war, many of them were in total ignorance of cooking. Recall that back in the antebellum days, one's mother or the wife cooked the meals while the man worked the fields (or trade). Womens' Lib hadn't made its appearance and neither did suffrage. So, you can imagine the disasters that followed when men untutored in the culinary arts were issued raw material with which to prepare their repast. Here's one tale:
The boys told me it was my time to cook. I could not cook and told them so, but the answer I got was, "No back talk, do as you are told." That settled it, so I got busy and got a camp kettle that held about four gallons of water. I filled it about half full, made a fire, and set the kettle on. I put about two pounds of rice in it and stirred up my fire. I soon had things going fine. The whole thing was boiling now like a house on fire. Pretty soon I saw the kettle was getting fuller all the time and it wasn't long until it acutally did run over. I did not care so much for the rice, but I was afraid that it would put my fire out. I did not have a thing to put it in, and I thought of my rubber blanket. I got it and my tin cup, spread the blanket on the ground, and went to bailing it out of the kettle on to the blanket. The faster it boiled, the faster I bailed and when the rice in the kettle was cooked, I had more on the blanket than I had in the kettle. But at the same time I had come out ahead, fir I had saved my reputation as not being a cook and I had save the rice which was quite a saving. There was enough cooked rice for a mess and there was enough half-cooked rice for another mess the next day. Now this is not a joke. I assure you this is a true story of my experience in cooking rice and now I am going to leave the cooking business to the ladies where it belongs for they know more about in in five minutes than I do in a lifetime."
Betcha figured out the writer isn't Chinese or Japanese.
BTW, my friend's father taught us in college how to cook rice over an open campfire. You don't. You add the right proportion of water to the rice and then placed the covered pot over the coals. Cooks just fine.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!