Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Southern Cook

There's piece of kitchen equipment that my grandmother's and mother always used...

A pressure cooker!

When I got married my grandmother thought it was awful that I didn't get a pressure cooker.  So for Christmas, she made sure I got one!

Now, I had always watched the women in my family use pressure cookers for everything!  I had also learned from a young age to stay away from these explosive cooking untiles!  So when I got this pressure cooker from my grandmother I was excited AND nervous!  I had a real fear of cooking with one of these things.  It's one thing to watch somebody else cook, but it's another thing to do it yourself...

How do I know how much pressure to too much pressure?  Do I cook everything the same amount of time?  How do I know if the food is done?  How do I keep the cooker from exploding?

I knew that even as fearful and nervous as I was to cook with the pressure cooker, I wouldn't be able to get the answers to my questions unless I just dug in and started cooking!  So I did just that! 

I asked questions of my mother and grandmothers and started cooking!  I learned to cook fresh vegetables pretty well--at least Hubby would eat them!  But when it came to cooking meat, I hit a brick wall...

 I quickly learned that you can build up too much pressure!  I also learned that in the newer pressure cookers that the pot would expand before the lid blew!  I learned this while cooking a roast (that had to be thrown out) and not turning down the heat once the steam started whistling!  Once I messed up my pressure cooker, my days of pressure cooking were through!  I was too scared to try again and too imbrassed to say I messed up my new pressure cooker... 

Then once our green beans started coming in, I wanted to cook some fresh green beans but I didn't want to wait ALL day for them to cook down.  So out came my grandmother's pressure cooker!  I took a deep breath, called my mother for the right cooking times, and went to it!  (I did think about sending the boys to their grandmother's just in case the pot blew!) 

They didn't turn out half bad! 

The whole family loved them--even if we ate them for just about every meal until they were gone!  I didn't blow the lid off the pressure cooker so I felt I had accomplished my fear of the pressure cooker! 

As I sat with my family and enjoyed our fresh green beans, I remembered what both of my grandmother's had told me when I got married...a good Southern cook always has a pressure cooker that she can use in her kitchen.  Well my kitchen is now a complete Southern cooks kitchen!


  1. It most certainly is! My first pressure cooker was a six-quart Bingo prize and I loved it. Also, had the big canning pressure cooker... I know your fears, I lived them for months, terrified the hissing sound would suddenly stop and my kitchen would be full of well-cooked debris... I now have a new model and discovered I really miss the hissing sound... seems like its over before it starts and you're not the least bit aware you're using a pressure cooker... congratulations... looking forward to your next visit...

    Twitter: SolarChief

  2. i don't think i'll ever cook w/one...i'm way to scared of them!

  3. I got a pressure cooker as a wedding gift many (many!) years ago. As a young bride (who could barely boil water), I had no idea what it was! I can't even remember what happened to it. But I do know that I never used it!

    Thanks for stopping by and helping me out with my hydrangeas. I've still got some hope for them!

  4. I remember my mom's old pot blew once, putting a hole in the ceiling. Thank goodness the newer brands are safer and have backup safety valves.

    Glad the beans turns out good!


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