(I do feel the need to tell you up front that this post is waaaaaay over my normal , self imposed 500 word limit. Read at your leisure. Or not. It is intended to be a humorous peak into the mundane workings of my life; I hope you enjoy and get a laugh or two out of it.)
My dear brother, Lucas, is studying to be a chef. I talked with him about my struggles with cooking in the altitude. He told me to get a pressure cooker. Those things that explode?!? They are a bit more sophisticated than in the olden days, I have come to find out. Last week my friend lent me one of hers to give it a try. She gave me a short orientation and a superb demonstration on the use of this wonderment with her smaller one. I was leery but wanted to see this miracle pot in action under the power of my own hand.
This is a non-electric, heavy-duty pot with a special top. The lid has a rubber ring under the toothed lip allowing it to hook and screw on to the actual pot. So while at her house I managed to get the top sealed on for easy transport to my house. But when I got home, all excited to show my husband my new toy, the top would not come off! We pried, and pulled, and pushed, and tugged at that thing all day; when the hammer was suggested I drew the line. I said, we will let it sit overnight and hope that in the morning with the change in the temperature of the air it would be easier to get off.
I woke up with the Rocky theme running through my head. Clapping my hands together and rubbing them I stared at the pot and told it to get ready (out loud!). I grabbed the contraption and with controlled steady force popped that bugger right off! Never underestimate the power of a woman who has birthed four children and has a good nights sleep under her belt.
To cook! Yes, I was ready. The pot and I had come to terms and we both knew who was boss. I decided to go with mashed potatoes for my first try. Washed, peeled, chopped, tossed in and doused with water I sealed the potatoes in and lit my stovetop with a match. Of course I had terrible visions of having to return the pot to my friend with a lump of mushy smelly potatoes inside because I dreaded having top troubles again. So I stood there watching the pot. All of a sudden the spiggit on the top started to steam and rattle. That is what it is supposed to do – now we are cookin’ with gas (literally)! So I am supposed to time it from the time it starts spitting. But how long?!? I let five grueling minutes go by and decided to make a panicked call my friend who happened to be at the beauty shop. Between hysterically laughing at my giddy anxiety over my potatoes I got her to tell me five minutes – but 7 had passed by this time! Ah!!! She told me to fill me sink with cold water and submerge the pot then check them. Submerging initiated and commenced I stared at the handle again ready to gear up for another WWF match. Turns out there was no need to worry – it slid right off! Whew!
Those were the absolute best mashed potatoes that I have ever made in my entire life! You can ask my kids. Since the potatoe success I have tried some vegetables and chicken. My oh my! The chicken was so tender and juicy and slid right off the bone! And my cooking time is cut by 75%!!! It is absolutely fabulous. I know I am sounding like an info-mercial; but really, I am going to get me one (or three) of these pots. I am, for the first time in my life, sincerely excited about cooking a meal.
I used to think that to make good food you needed four things: time, heat, good ingredients and talent. Now I can add a fifth to the list: pressure! You need pressure to cook good food. The reason pressure cookers help when cooking in the altitude is that the air is so thin up here that there is not the pressure needed and things take twice as long as they do at sea level. So the pressure cooker provides a controlled environment that increases the pressure thus allowing the cooking process to be more efficient.
I think God knows that pressure is required to help get us cooked. Cooked being a maturity and growth that allows our lives to have the taste of the tender love of Christ. Next time you are feeling some pressure in your life tell God thanks, because you are the good ingredient and he is adding the heat, pressure and talent. Give him the time he needs to get you thoroughly cooked. The results will be delicious!
Do you have any pressure cooker recipes that you would like to send my way?