Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A Little Pot, A Brave New World

Sometimes revolutions sneak up on you.
You'd think that something as life-changing as a revolution would announce itself, like Donald Trump at the White House, but sometimes these things creep in on little mouse feet.

Take the Instant Pot revolution for instance.

I was only slightly aware of this way of cooking because a friend gave me an electric pressure cooker a while back, and I found out that it was pretty great for rice or potatoes. So I used it a few times, if only just to prove my culinary mettle, and that I had enough courage to stay in the same room with the spitting, puffing devil. My mom had put the fear of all things pressure cooking into us when we were kids.
 "Don't even come into the kitchen! These things can blow up and kill people! It's happened!"
I'm not sure how she knew that it had happened, because it never happened to anyone we knew and the internet was years away. Urban legends had to be handed down personally back then.

Sometime around September, some of my Facebook friends started posting questions about this new wonder; the Instant Pot.
"What is this dark magic?", I wondered.
It was one of those times when I felt like I had come late to the party and everyone there had already met the guest of honor and was on a first-name basis. One of my friends asked a question, and the replies came pouring in, and I had to google to know what was going on. So...the Instant Pot. I was intrigued. Mostly pressure cooker, partly steamer and fry pan, with a few special features that nobody needs. I already have all of those things, so I figured this was an expensive flash-in-the-pan, so to speak, and put it out of my mind. And it was expensive, very, still it kept coming up in conversations all over social media.

October arrived bringing the season of beef stew and soups, and my attention was pulled back to the great idea of something that could allow me to have the attention span of my Golden Retriever, because I never have anything thawed by 4:30, and yet enable me to get a wonderful home cooked meal on the table by 5:30.  I started paying attention. It seems everyone was paying attention. All of a sudden Amazon was putting Instant Pots everywhere I went online. A few people I know already had them, and it seemed like they were very happy. Well, anyway, I couldn't see paying 89.99 for something that was really a want, but not a need. I joined the Instant Pot community on Facebook. It couldn't hurt to watch the videos and read the recipes. It wasn't like I was actually going to become one of THEM.

Then Black Friday happened, and the revolution knocked on my door.
$59.99 on Amazon.
One per customer.
Join us, and live in a brand new Instant Pot world.

 I asked Tim. I began to repeat all the propaganda that I had been reading. I told him about saving money, electricity, saving the environment, cheesecake. I had him at cheesecake. So I clicked. It went into my cart and as I went to checkout I thought about how I could still go back. I could stop now and no one would ever know. I looked at the picture, I read the reviews, again, and I took that final step.
As soon as I did I knew that I had made the right decision.

 I wanted to share this with someone. I thought of Laura and how good this would be for her. All those kids eating wholesome food, cooked in minutes, saving the environment. So I tried to buy another one. One per customer the site said. How could we get around that? Another account? Have someone else buy it? This price wouldn't last and they would all be gone!! I looked around the internet wildly. There, on the Walmart page, I found them, at the same price. I ordered quickly and was able to purchase one for her. Nina had already told me that she didn't want one, but these things happen in families. Often times a family has to deal with the fact that one of their loved ones refuses to embrace the way of the future.

That evening I looked once more at the email from Amazon saying that my order was processing. I went over to the Instant Pot community page, and while it wasn't actually in my possession yet, I was able to announce that I had taken that crucial step and I now belonged.
When it shipped, I counted myself among the lucky ones who had a pot on the way, because several people were informed that their shipments had been delayed. I grieved with them.

When it arrived, there was no question that it was to be given prime real estate in the pantry. Other small appliances have been moved, like Woody to the toybox. I got it out, did the "water test" which everyone says is mandatory, and decided to take my first step up the learning curve with hardboiled eggs, which I was assured would be so much more perfect than anything ever boiled in a pan on the stove. They'd better be. They were pretty awesome. But they certainly aren't cheesecake.

I have now thrown myself wholeheartedly into the movement. I am learning how to use the different features, I know all about high pressure and low pressure and the timing functions. I have made a couple of amazing meals and I am well on the way to being fully integrated.
I think I may be saving electricity, I will be saving money as soon as I purchase that springform pan and a couple of accessories, and the environment is probably fine.
What's important is cheescake.

Join the revolution. You know you want to.

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