I thought I would kick off the new year with a post. My 172nd post on this blog, to be exact. How many of those 172 posts have YOU read? If you need to catch up, please feel free. I’ll wait. I have time.
Sometimes I wonder if anyone even reads blogs anymore. I fear that everything is going to video. Which is a good thing because I do enjoy watching videos. I just haven’s mastered the art of video blogging yet. Or vlogs as some would call them.
See? I know stuff.
I pay around $140 a year to keep this little blog floating around out there, easily accessible and at your fingertips. I work hard to try to get Google to notice me. Because I love my tiny, little piece of your attention. I like sharing my life and stories with you.
But I do enjoy a good YouTube video as well. Take yesterday for example. I was watching videos on how to properly use an Instant Pot, all in an effort to overcome my fear of pressure cookers.
Maybe a little back story is required here.
I was age five. My grandmother had this big, scary pot that she pulled out every now and again. She called it a pressure cooker. It was cumbersome looking. She would set the pot on the stove and fill it with green beans and potatoes. Or other veggies and meats. Then she would lock the lid in place and fire it up.
This is where stuff got scary. You have to understand that I was five and knew absolutely nothing about cooking. I didn’t even understand why she needed this big, scary pot. After the pot had been on for a while, it would start making weird noises. Steam would start shooting right out of this little wobbly mechanism on the top of the lid. It sputtered and whistled. It was horrifying. It didn’t seem to bother my grandmother though.
Well, until the one time it exploded anyway. That’s right. I said exploded.
I loved my grandmother. I wanted to be wherever she was. If she was sewing, I was watching. If she was ironing, I was sitting on her bed, talking to her. And if she was cooking, even with that big, scary pot, I was there.
Luckily, I was sitting at the kitchen table that day. A good safe distance from the stove. Grandma decided to cook some carrots in the pressure cooker. Everything seemed to be going as planned. Then WHAM!! There were carrots DRIPPING FROM THE CEILING. Now, mind you, my grandmother had one of those old grandmother houses, with low ceiling. Not like the homes of today. But regardless, somehow that lid managed to fly off, with a rush of steam, spraying the kitchen with vegetables.
My grandmother almost fainted but I couldn’t really help her because I was hiding under the kitchen table. I still remember that day like it was yesterday. I swore that I would NEVER have a pressure cooker. Ever.
Cut to 2016. All of my friends were like, Ohhhhh we have Instant Pots. They are fantastic. You can cook anything in them. They are SOOOOO safe.
So naturally I bought one. But just to be fair, Amazon had them on a Cyber Monday sale for $69. You know I love a great sale.
Two days later, I had an Instant Pot. It actually sat in the box for a couple of weeks. Then I finally worked up the nerve to take it out of the box. And by take it out of the box, I mean I literally just took it out of the box and sat it on the counter. Where it sat for a couple more weeks. I could tell this was going to be a process.
Finally yesterday, I said enough. I grabbed the Instant Pot and moved it from one counter to another. I then pulled up a chair and grabbed my phone. I Googled: How to use an Instant Pot. Judging from all of the articles, blog posts and YouTube videos, I was not the only one needing direction with this contraption.
First, I watched a very lengthy video where a monotone-voiced man walked me through every feature and every button on the pot. Then I found a blog post where a fabulous woman walked me through every step of unboxing and setting up the Instant Pot. I followed her directions to the letter. Until she wanted me to do a water test. As in, turn on the machine.
I felt a little queasy. I had visions of carrots hurtling toward my head. Then I remembered that I don’t even like carrots and therefore would absolutely never put them in my Instant Pot.
What is the worst thing that a pot of water could do? Third degree burns to my face. I decided to give it a go.
I followed her water test instructions.
Step one: safety check
Step two: add water
Step three: close lid
Step four: seal lid
Step five: initiate test, set cooking time to 30 minutes
Step six: preheat, generate steam
Step seven: pressure cook
Then I waited. Except not anywhere close to the pot. But rather from across the kitchen. At a safe distance. I watched as the pot only let a tiny amount of steam escape. This machine was nothing like my grandmother’s. It wasn’t even making a sound. Finally, thirty minutes was over. It was now necessary for me to approach the pot and perform a “quick release” on the venting cap.
While holding three pot holders for protection, I made my way to the pot. Suddenly thankful for my gorillaishly long arms, I used one of the pot holders to hit the valve, switching it from sealed to venting. In one swift motion, a rush of steam came barreling out from the tiny hole. Naturally by this time, I had hit the deck. Hiding behind the safety of the bar-height counter. That is when I noticed my daughter staring at me. You know. The way preteen girls do. But it was still victory. Sweet, sweet victory. Preteen jugdy glares and all.
I did it! I performed an Instant Pot water test. I overcame my fear of small kitchen appliances. And last night, I even cooked a roast and potatoes in my pot.
Man, I wish my grandmother was still here to see me now. I am rocking domestication.