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Why yes, I did think it was a good idea to make friends with my new pressure cooker on the coldest day of the year when we have no water.

December 31st, 2017 · No Comments · Cooking, Pressure Cooker

Some days my husband would tell me my decision-making process is flawed. Today is probably one of those days. It is cold as all get out here. Not five feet of snow cold but cold none the less.

I had asked him to fix the dripping faucet in our bathroom. It was driving me crazy and leaving a funky spot on the sink. So he had undertaken that task. To say it wasn’t going well, might be a little bit of an understatement.


My Sister gave me a Farberware Programmable 6 Quart Pressure Cooker for my birthday.

It’s been more than 10 days. It’s been sitting on my dining room table. We’ve just stared at one another across the room. I didn’t even open it until today.

When I was a kid, my Grandmother talked about the pressure cooker like it was some kind of lethal instrument of destruction. We were not allowed to be in the room when she was using it. We were not allowed to touch it even when it was not on the stove. It whistled and we cowered in the corner hoping nothing bad happened. It was simply evil incarnate.

Now, programmable pressure cookers are THE cooking appliance to have. There are Facebook Groups dedicated to them. Instagram has all kinds of Instagrammy stuff. Pinterest has pins. And some of my favorite cooking blogs make recipes using them.

Today I decided it was time to make friends with mine. I’ve been looking at recipes. I’ve read the instructions.

I’ve got to say Farberware, you are heavy on the CAUTION! DANGER! notations. A little light on the “how to” sort of instructions. I’d been thinking about just boiling water. Somewhere I read that was where to begin to end your fear of the pressure cooker.

Instead, today, I decided to jump right in.

While my husband was trying to replace the faucet in the bathroom.

No we didn’t have any water, but I always have plenty of baby wipes and alcohol. My husband wasn’t going to be there for moral support (mostly because he was under the sink cussing like a sailor). I just decided to blaze right on through.

I decided I wanted a French Dip for dinner. A little roast. A little consseme. A few spices. Some onions and garlic. A big thick bun. What could be hard about that?

So I went to the grocery store. Man! I don’t shop much these days but when did roast become so freaking expensive? It was $18.00 for a three pound roast. And then I decided we needed blueberry muffins for in the morning. And Jacob likes warm brownies. And the wavy Lays chips were on sale. So I got chips and dip. And we needed milk.

And then I arrived on the cheese aisle. Did you have any idea there were so many different kinds of swiss cheese slices?

These were just few of the ones I took pictures of. I am a little paranoid about taking pictures in grocery stores lest they think I’m some kind of Walmart or Crest spy and get banned. It’s not that it’s some great a place I’d miss going into like Sephora. But it would probably be embarrassing, and it isn’t a great store but it is the only one reasonably close. There were easily 10 or more different kinds of swiss cheese slices. And they ranged in price from pretty reasonable to outrageously expensive. But when it came down to it, the ones that seemed reasonable weren’t necessarily so. Those tricky cheese makers would put different prices on them but then there would be wildly differing amounts of cheese in them. So the Best Choice one on the left, which because it’s the house brand, and the smallest, you’d think was the cheapest was actually more middle of the pack to more expensive per ounce. I went with the Kraft Swiss Chees slices. Not for any particular reason except that I’ve grown up with Kraft and that seemed the easiest way to make the choice.

Anyway, my quest to make friends with the Pressure Cooker ended up costing me just over $50. That is why my husband does most of our grocery shopping.

So back to the pressure cooking. I browned the roast in the pressure cooker.

It did that well with nothing bad happening.

Then I threw in some onions and garlic.

Those sautéed up nicely.

Then I poured in the beef broth, (the store was out of consseme) added a tablespoon of liquid smoke, worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar and turned the lid on till it beeped and started it up. I’d intended to put a bay leaf in. Not sure exactly why but it seemed appropriate under the circumstances. Once I remembered it was too late, so I did without this time.

Not at all sure what happened to the balsamic vinegar. Guess it was shy and didn’t want to be photographed.

I set it to cook for 45 minutes because the default for roasts was 30 and I didn’t think that was actually possible.

Then I cowered in the corner of the kitchen on the stool I bought a million years ago to use in an exercise program and now my granddaughter uses it to sit on while watching TV as my husband or I cook. I live texted the process with my sister since she gave me this instrument of destruction. I told my friends and loved ones I loved them. Or in the case of good friends, I really liked them. And I waited.

I was correct, it took a lot longer than 45 minutes (I’m assuming it is because it has to get up to pressure before it starts the cooking time and that…takes time). I opened it and was…unimpressed. It looked cooked but wasn’t falling apart cooked which is how I normally like my roast. So, being the intrepid adventurer I am, I started it back up again. This time, I felt sure it wasn’t going to walk off the counter or do anything else destructive and I actually went into the living room and sat on the sofa. I cooked it for another 45 minutes which turned into another hour and 15 minutes because of that getting up to pressure thing.

It was late when it finished. My intrepid plumbers were hungry. This time I decided to slice it.

And this was the result. It tasted good. My husband said it was good. It wasn’t fall apart and melt in your mouth good. But I agree it was good.

And this was the result of the 4 hours of my work. A French Dip!

Meanwhile, upstairs in our bathroom, there was much cussing going on; my husband drafted my 15 year old to assist because (1) he’d done that in work-grant the summer before and (2) was small enough to get under the sink and actually see what he was doing; five trips to the hardware store; water spraying all over the place only once; five or so hours; and $70.95 later we have success!

Next up on Adventures with the Pressure Cooker: Rice!

Cause rice isn’t scary at all.


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