This, my friends, is a Pressure Cooker.
(I capitalize it from fear it may grow angry if I don’t…)
It is One Scary Pot.
We, (or rather Scott), bought it at a garage sale for $5 years and years ago and we use it every year to make our traditional New Year’s Day dinner of Ham, Beans, and Potatoes.
N.B. I’ve no idea why I say “we”. I’m the one who makes this dish every year, since Scott works retail and, unless New Year’s Day happens to fall on a Sunday, is never home till later in the day.
The meal itself is simple and easy and has been a tradition in my family for as long as I can remember (and no doubt before).
You put a bunch of beans to soak sometime on New Year’s Eve (don’t add salt – it makes them tough and they’ll never cook properly. Promise.) On New Year’s Day rinse the beans, pour them into the frightening Pressure Cooker with a bunch of sliced potatoes, and a large piece of ham (this year I used two “pork butts”.
You can also add a chopped onion or two for good measure.
Then add enough water to cover everything (more or less), seal the Pressure Cooker’s lid on, and set it to cook.
This is when things get scary.
Pressure Cookers, for those unfamiliar with them, chug and hiss.
This freaks me out.
And they have a little gauge on them (you may notice it in the photo). See that little black area on the gauge, where one to three o’clock would be on a clock? That’s the Caution Area.
(Really. The thing says Caution. All in bold caps. Like this: CAUTION.)
This (though Scott will argue the point, but I feel certain he’s wrong) translates to:
Let this sucker chug and hiss itself into the Caution Area and it will EXPLODE.
Boom. Straight through your ceiling, the rooms above, hurtling out the roof, and crashing like a miniature really hot flying saucer right through your neighbor’s front window.
Every year I Fear The Pressure Cooker.
And so should you.
(Especially if you live across the street from me).