Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Throwing good money after bad

That's an old idiom to which I never gave a lot of thought until recently.  If you look it up online, most definitions refer to the stock market, but I finally found the definition for which I was looking at Cambridge Dictionaries Online:  "to waste money by spending more money on something you have already spent money on that is no good."

However, I wouldn't say my tiny aluminum pressure cooker is "no good".  I won't be tossing it out.  It will be handy for potatoes, or smaller amounts of things.

I recently did a blog entry about the pressure cooker I bought, the cheapest aluminum model made.  I wanted to see if I would really use it before investing in a larger stainless steel model.  It only cost $25, but for double that money I could have purchased the one I really wanted.  First of all, I didn't stop to think how small a four-quart cooker would be.  Second, although I am not as scared of aluminum as many people, I refuse to cook anything in an aluminum pan that is even slightly acidic.

However, I did use that small pressure cooker enough to realize that I would definitely use it, and I have used it a LOT.  Did you know that you can cook a pot of pinto beans, after soaking, in about ten minutes?  The actual cooking only takes four minutes once the jiggler starts jiggling, but you have to get the pressure up before you start timing.  Potatoes are done in a couple of minutes.  An old tough chicken takes about twice as long as the recommended time, I learned, but you CAN get it tender.   

Today I'll be pressure-cooking some pork bones I dug out of the freezer.  

I saw a rice pudding recipe in the book that came with the cooker, and wanted to try it.  However, it requires a metal bowl that you can put inside the pressure cooker, and I don't have such a thing.  If any of my readers know where I can buy a single metal bowl that will fit inside a six-quart pan; it would be nice if the bowl had fairly straight sides, but I'll take what I can get.  Because yes, friends and neighbors, I threw some good money at a new stainless steel pressure cooker.  It will arrive today. 

 After typing the preceding paragraph I found other pressure cooker recipes that do not require the pan inside the cooker, but the Presto website says use one; I did find out, though, that it doesn't have to be metal:  Q. What types of cookware can be used in a pressure cooker?
A. Glass, metal and earthenware molds and other small, heat proof items such glass custard cups can be used in the pressure cooker. These types of containers are especially helpful in preparing beautiful desserts and side dishes. Use individual or small molds, glass custard cups, 4-6 ounce metal or tin gelatin molds or earthenware souffle dishes. Fill molds 2/3 full to allow for expansion of food, and fit them loosely into the pressure cooker on the cooking rack.

I know a lot of people are scared to death to use a pressure cooker, but if you follow instructions there is nothing dangerous about them.  You do have to stay in the house when using it, because when it first gets up to pressure, you wil need to adjust the heat beneath the pot a few times until the regulator is jiggling just right.  There are certain things you should not cook in a pressure cooker, but if you read the book that comes with it, you will find out what those few things are.

The little girl I babysit thinks the pressure cooker is a percussion instrument and dances when the regulator starts jiggling.  

 And on another note, just to let my readers know, the steer that was so very sick last week has fully recovered.  Thank goodness for modern antibiotics and veterinarians who know what to prescribe.

7 comments:

TARYTERRE said...

Glad the steer is recovered. Good news, indeed. Have never had a pressure cooker or cooked in one so I find all of this fascinating. ENJOY the new one.

Just Because said...

Donna, I am so glad your steer is doing better. I was afraid he was still sick and that title was about him. I say go for the new bigger pressure cooker! You will use it a lot and enjoy all that food you cook in it so fast. Kaye Runn

Helen said...

I have had my cooker for probably 20 years or more. I never think to use it. I just don't cook as much as I used to do. Glad that your steer is doing ok. That would have been a huge loss.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Glad you are able to use the one you have for so many good things. Knowing how much you can do with this one, I imagine you'll be doing more than ever with the new one. I'm so happy that the meds worked and your sick cow has recovered !

Sister--Three said...

I am sort of wanting a pressure cooker. I have had them in the past. I know I want a stainless one and the bigger one. I have learned from your mistakes. lol

Margaret said...

Glad that the steer is better. I loved my pressure cooker when I used to cook more. It was great for tender meat and for quick preparation. :)

Barbara In Caneyhead said...

All Mama ever had was a four quart. She put her green beans up in the pressure cooker, as green beans are the hardest thing to can and do it safely. Never been scared of it. But yet, never have really used it. I love my club alunimum! Less scorching. Great for candy making, deep frying, or cooking something that has to simmer all day.