Busy Foodie? Get a Pressure Cooker

My family was enjoying an afternoon at the swimming pool when it occurred to me that it was a perfect afternoon for some potato salad and smoked salmon on ciabatta bread. (Our Norwegian friends turned us on to this deliciously odd combination). But it was already 6pm and I didn’t even have any potatoes. This dinner could take until midnight to prepare because the boiling and cooling of the potatoes takes at least an hour and a half. But then I remembered my fabulous pressure cooker. It’s just a pot with a locking lid and a steam nozzle on top. I am not completely sure how this contraption works but it cuts the cooking time by around 70% on most foods. I picked up some potatoes and it took about 15 minutes to cook them completely in the pressure cooker. Voila! Potato salad in way less time than usual.

A pressure cooker is useful for greens, beans, eggplant, or just about anything else that we would normally eat only on a weekend because it takes too long to cook. I also have read that you can put meat in it and it will cook quickly and be very tender. I have not tried this myself but I do plan to make some pulled bbq chicken in it soon.

When I first got the pressure cooker I was afraid of it because it makes a loud whistling sound and the warnings say that you should never force the lid open or it could blow off and cause serious injuries and probably damage to the kitchen ceiling. But since then I have found that there is not really much to be afraid of. The top locks on while the pressure is high and will not release until the pressure decreases to a safe level. Even so, it is best to open the lid slowly and carefully and away from you so that the rush of steam will not burn your face.

I imagine that this is the perfect kitchen gadget for busy people who may not take time to plan meals ahead of time, or foodies who make menu decisions on a whim. It is rather inexpensive and extremely convenient. It can also be used for canning fruits and vegetables as well. That’s another adventure on my list.


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