Under pressure

I don’t remember spending a lot of time in the kitchen as a youngster.  While I have clear memories of how our kitchen was laid out, I have vague memories of what I did in there other than sit on the counter and pester Mom while she made pies and fried chicken in her cast iron skillet.

I do remember, though,  frequently pouring myself a cup of life from the Mr. Coffee that sat in the corner and was always on and always full.

We were the 7-Eleven of our neighborhood.

Except without the scary roller thing that heats the hot dogs.

I’m sure part of the reason I didn’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen was because I preferred having my nose in a book, but the other reason was because there were occasions when I was deathly afraid to step one toe in there.  Those were the days that Mom brought out that contraption known as…..the pressure cooker.

I don’t know if it was the hissing, the rocking motion, the sight of the violently escaping steam or the dire warnings from my mother to STAY AWAY FROM THE PRESSURE COOKER, but I was scared out of my skin every time she put that pot on the stove.

Would we put the rocker on the top at just the right time?

Would we be burned in the process?

Would this be the day it exploded?

Would the pot lid go flying across the room, knocking my mother out cold?

Would I have to drag her, unconscious, out of the kitchen by her foot as bits of molten potato rained down on all of us?

These were the questions that made me neurotic kept me up at night.

I’m pleased to report that we managed to make it through my childhood without a Pressure Cooker Incident, but the fear of one happening still remained, so much so that I didn’t even register for one when I got married (much to my mother’s dismay who to this day does not believe a kitchen is complete without one).

Well, Mom, you can rest easy now.

A couple of weeks ago when apparently Mr. CPQ was unsupervised watching Jacques Pepin make beans with a pressure cooker on PBS, he decided that we needed a pressure cooker.  He didn’t have the same childhood hangups that I did, so he just hopped online, found one reasonably priced, and hit the “purchase” button.  According to FedEx tracking, it arrives today.

Oh great, a cheap pressure cooker.  This doesn’t have disaster written all over it….

Mr. CPQ is very excited about his new acquisition and I don’t want to dampen his enthusiasm because I may need it when I see something I really want like a new necklace or the iPad that’s coming out in a few months, so I am putting on my big girl britches, researching recipes, and trying to figure out a way to use it that doesn’t result in an unexpected visit from our nearby EMS station.

No pressure.

Have a nice day.

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30 responses to “Under pressure

  1. As soon as I started reading this, I could hear that sound on the stove!
    Mama always pressured roasts and beans. Not together. That would be gross.

  2. Like Melanie, I could hear the sound, too. I don’t remember what she used it for. I’ve never used one, so please let us know how it goes!

  3. Don’t you think the iPad has a feminine product feel to the name? Maybe I’m still just hung up on the princess panties from yesterday!

    • Adam makes jokes about that every single time her sees one of their commercials. He says that next they should do the I-pon. Which is apparently much like a tampon. Who knows. He’s weird.

  4. I think it was this issue of cooking light that had pressure cooker recipes, I’ll check. It was something I got this month…. anyway, the article was talking about how SAFE they are now 😉 so rest easy. Hope the eatin’s good!

  5. Candice, did the image of my son in princess panties with maxi pad scar you for life?? Rest easy. This morning he’s sporting a black and gray camo top with red and blue spiderman pj bottoms. We’re classy like that.

  6. I too could hear that pressure cooker sound. I also have the exact same fears about them. Oh the horror stories my Grandmother would tell me about them! I’ll send you a ton of luck & tell you that I am glad it’s you not me!

  7. yep, raised with one as well.

    and now you’ve reminded me i want one!

  8. We use our pressure cooker (a hand-me-down from my grandmother) about once every 6 weeks or so. I’m not sure what we do with it though. Beans? The Iron Chefs use one constantly. For meat maybe? I’m almost positive you’re not supposed to put eggs in one.

  9. Thanks a lot. Now I’ll have a constant loop of Queen & Bowie playing in my head throughout the day. 😉

  10. Could this be La Casa de CPQ later today?

  11. Oh I can so relate to your Pressure Cooker mentality! I have those exact same memories and feelings, I kid you not! Exact same mom who maneuvered that heavy pot with aplomb while I sat by ready to run to the neighbor’s house in case of an explosion. And no, I’ve never bought one either.

    Reminds me though of another childhood hangup I have. I remember my mom making a big deal about knotting up and throwing away the plastic bags dry cleaning always returned to us in. She would go on and on about how it could suffocate you and how you should never put your head in it. (Now why would I have done that exactly?) So years later, as an adult probably in my 30s, one day I was hastening to get my dry cleaning out of that dangerous plastic wrapping and quickly knotting it up so I could throw it away when it occurred to me: this bag is not going to jump up, get on my head and kill me. I had been treating these silly wrappings like they had some kind of killer instinct!

    I still don’t like dry cleaner bags, but I’ve grown up now. I just calmly tell myself it’s not going to hurt me and throw it away … just in case!

  12. I don’t even have the foggiest what is done with a pressure cooker.

    But I’m really impressed at how you are using it to your advantage . . . here at the castle, a gadget purchase is totally means for a little somthin’ somthin’

    Just sayin’

  13. I think our mom’s were separated at birth — except mine is more pushy. Since I didn’t register for a pressure cooker, she gave me one for my birthday.

    I think I’ve used it a total of 3 times – 2x’s for beans, once for mashed potatoes.

    It now resides in the garage.

    Be sure to let us know if you have any successful recipes. 🙂

  14. Don’t we have enough potential danger in the kitchen with all the knives, hot oil, and bags of Double Stuffed Oreos without adding a PRESSURE COOKER?? “You could poke your eye out” doesn’t even cover it.

    If you want beans open a can and if you want mashed potatoes open a box…save some lives people.

  15. I’m thinking you should have started with the butane torch and a creme brulee and worked your way up to the pressure cooker. You have skipped more than a few rungs on the dangerous kitchen apparatus ladder.

    I do love homemade jam though…Good luck!

  16. I, too, was afraid of the pressure cooker when I was growing up. When my son was a year old we were at my mama’s and while we were in the kitchen, yes, her pressure cooker exploded and potatoes went everywhere. All the baby said was, “uh oh.” My mama was horrified that she had almost taken out her grandchild with the pressure cooker; not sure if she’s used it since!

  17. For the record (and in the unlikely event anyone cares), I did not buy a “cheap” pressure cooker as incorrectly noted by Carpoolqueen. In fact, I purchased the exact same Cuisinart Model CPC-600 1000-watt 6-quart precision electric pressure cooker that Jacques Pepin used on his TV show that day. I just happened to get it at a great price – new at 50% off retail (and free shipping)! You will notice on I’m Not Ned’s hilarious video that a manual stovetop cooker was the culprit. Go high tech or go home!

    • I guess he DOES read my blog.

      • carpoolqueen

        Oh, and hon, did you catch the iPad for the wish list referenced in the last paragraph?

        Just checking.

      • I’m actually more surprised he didn’t say something about the “scary roller thing that heats the hot dogs” line, since it is a life-long dream of his to equip your kitchen with one of those as well.

  18. Always been afraid of the pressure cooker here too. You’ll have to let me know how it goes. In my book using a pressure cooker means your a real grown-up.

  19. I think they offered Pressure Cooker 101 at missionary orientation. Because my mama was glued to hers like…well…glue. And I can hear the hissing. And can still remember the day that our cook went running out of the kitchen because he thought it was going to blow. Apparently pressure cookers are not used very often in the jungle.

  20. Mr. CPQ is NOT going to like my story.. (& I SO don’t want to get on his wrong side in case he is ever again looking for somewhere to “dispose” of his wonderful barbeque meats…) I was making vegetable soup in my pressure cooker on the stove the first year we were married. Steve had an evening class & I was trying to get it “done” for him to eat before he left. So I forced the lid off… DUMB!!! It blew up & sprayed red soup all over the yellow kitchen of our rental house, as well as on my hands & one leg. I had 2nd degree burns on my hands & couldn’t do ANYTHING for about 3 days (think about what ALL you do with your hands… not a pretty thought!) We still lived in our home town, so our moms took turns staying with me for a few days. But I never used a pressure cooker again. That was only 41 years ago! I’m sure you would never do something so stupid w/ your lovely new ELECTRIC cooker.

  21. I’m scared of those things.
    Cowardly Lion scared.

  22. The fact that one lives in your kitchen now makes me so very nervous.

  23. That’s definitely an advanced technique, the pressure cooker. I’m still working on the basics.

  24. I’m thinking more along the lines of where would I STORE the pressure cooker in the kitchen, let alone the hot dog auto-roller.

    (and I did a spit-take at the i-Pon…thank you for that one, good stuff.)

  25. I still remember the sound of my Mama’s pressure cooker. I don’t remember what she cooked in it though. I think I’ve blocked out the terror it instilled in me.

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