Pretty, isn’t it?
Oh, how excited I was. I do believe I even squealed and jumped up and down when my name was called.
I cradled it when I arrived home, terribly excited, showed the family, who couldn’t be more disinterested, and pulled it out of the box, fighting off the hands that were trying to take the box before I’d checked it was empty, so they could use it for a LEGO Star Wars base or something.
After my excited high, I came down with a considerable thump when it suddenly occurred to me; my cooking is not so fabulous and I actually have NO idea what to do with a pressure cooker.
I spent the evening querying Grumpy Pants, who knows things about these things, reading the recipe book that came with it and coming to the conclusion that yep, I CAN do this!
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been playing with a few recipes, making up quite a few of my own (because I do that), causing Grumpy Pants to wander off, shaking his head, then having to better me the following night when my random selection of ingredients actually tastes ok and is eaten by the family.
I’ve tried the Beef Stew, Meatballs, Peanut Butter Chicken (which is technically Satay Beef – but the kids eat Peanut Butter Chicken, so who am I to argue?), Butter Chicken (have had many requests for this one again) and several beef based concoctions of my own that I call I Dunno, Some Beef Thing I Don’t Know The Name Of when the kids ask “What’s for dinner?”
What I really wanted a pressure cooker for was Wednesday Night Hell and the occasional Thursday Night Double Hell.
These nights (this term at least – last term it was Monday Nights, but I had an eleven year old to do my bidding then) we have Stuff on after school, at a time that would usually be spent preparing, cooking and eating dinner.
As a result, we’re stuffing snacks into faces at 4.30p.m. as we run out the door, or, if I’m with it enough, dinner, then stuffing crap into faces when we arrive home, or I’m hungry and wine=deprived and trying to ward off starving ferals who are raiding the kitchen as I try to prepare a suitable, nutritious meal for them.
Thus … The Pressure Cooker … the plan being to encourage suitable snacks after school, before Crazy, whilst I prepare the meal, then turn the pressurising dial, attending Crazy, and returning home to a hot, cooked, hearty meal.
The plan worked!
Man, the load it has taken off my shoulders on these nights. The joy at returning home, especially in Melbourne Winter – where, inevitably, it rains on these nights when we’re walking home like pack horses, carrying guitars, or running to the car, dressed only in a wet towel – is immeasurable.
That I can say “Dishing it up now!” when the starving ferals say “When will dinner be ready?”
Oh yeah, and i’ts no harder than anything else I do … you know my “if it can’t be cooked in under 30 minutes, preferably 20, then I ain’t doing it” rule? Well, it fits in with that. Prep time has been under 10 minutes, a bit of sauteing and voila!
Speaking of – it has its own funky little saute setting, so you saute the stuff in the cooker itself, not in another pot or pan, then adding it, thus eliminating the need for extra dishes. Double bonus in my book (or, you know, in my kids because it is they who stack the dishwasher and, more recently, wash and dry any and all leftover and non-dishwasherable items :))
Obviously, some of it takes longer to actually cook than the 20-30 minutes, but that’s ok, because I don’t need it in that time on Crazy Nights. But when I do want it in the allocated time, I can choose those dishes, too. Yay.
Having said that, regardless of the time it takes to cook, I have a hot dish when I get home. Not warm – hot! And that makes me happy.
Overall – easy to use, makes nice food, shuts my kids up when I’m at my most intolerant (as are they), has food for me when I come home, and I’m happy.
Would I recommend one if you have crazy nights, too? Hell yes.
This one gets my Stamp of Approval …
(Oh, and I don’t do slow cooker, because they require me to be organised in the morning, not at 2.00p.m. when I go – “Ah, bugger, better do something for dinner!”)
For other Kambrooky things, visit www.kambrook.com.au