I’m selling my pressure cooker. Ya wanna buy it? 6-quart Elite something something something – $40. I paid $80.
I suppose you want to know WHY I am selling it. It’s hard to admit, but I’m a pressure cooker drop out. Except I really can’t blame the pressure cooker – it worked fine and cooked everything exactly the way it was supposed to…I think.
And there is the crux of the matter. I am not really sure how food is supposed to look or taste when it comes out of the cooker. I watched a few million infomercials and they just dumped all the ingredients in and assured the audience that even an idiot can make fabulous meals with it. I must be some special kind of idiot then.
My first attempt was chicken tenderloins, and I threw in a can of cream of mushroom soup and some cut up potatoes and some butter and seasoning. I couldn’t get it to pressurize so I added more water, JUST LIKE IT SAID TO DO IN THE TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDE. Still wouldn’t build up pressure. Added more water. Do you see where this is going? Finally, I figured out I had to push down on the top to get a good seal and I finally had pressure. Yay!
Only by now, I no longer had chicken with potatoes and cream of mushroom soup. I had chicken and potatoes in opaque water with tiny gross black thingies in it and some weird ass film over everything. And the potatoes were mushy. And the chicken looked diseased. Family reaction? “Oh my God….”
Although it was not visually appealing, it didn’t taste horrible. Like, no vomiting ensued after placing a forkful in our mouths. So, even though Dave begged me to return it, I decided to watch a few more infomercials, and give it another chance.
The 2nd attempt involved spoon steaks. Usually, I buy the ones that are marinated in the burgundy pepper stuff and even though I know it’s probably full of chemicals, they are quite delicious. Unfortunately, my brain was on vacation when I was at the store because I returned home with plain, non-chemical infused spoon steaks. Boring.
But I knew from watching the last infomercial that if I just browned them on the sauté feature and added some organic chicken broth, I would have a miracle dinner in less than 15 minutes. Liars. But the presentation was MUCH better than the last time. Family reaction? “You don’t have to make this again.”
Despite my family shoving the pressure cooker back in the box, taping the receipt to the top, and sticking it in my car, I decided I just hadn’t hit on the right dish yet. I unpacked it and snuck it back in the cupboard at midnight, and did some major pressure cooking shopping the next day.
I bought a lemon pepper pork roast. I bought pork chops. I bought a stuffed pork roast. Pork was obviously on sale. I brought my precious dinner ideas home and nestled them in the freezer until the next Sunday dinner. This time, it was going to be perfect.
Sunday came and I decided on the lemon pepper roast. It sounded so delicious! I made sure it was thoroughly thawed (say that three times fast) and browned it just like I did the spoon steaks. I added 1 cup of chicken broth, just like the spoon steaks. I figured after all, the spoon steaks would have been much better if I had used the marinated ones, so this pork roast was going to be fantastic.
When it was finished, I pulled out the roast and set it on a plate. It looked…grey. It didn’t look crispy, even though I browned it. It didn’t look like “the other white meat” like it does when I cook it on the grill or in the slow cooker. Hmmmmm.
I cut into it, and it was definitely tender. Still grey, though. My daughter saw my hesitation (never let your children sense your fear in the kitchen. One funny look from you and they won’t eat broccoli for five years), and wrinkled her nose at it. “Is that even done?” she asked.
“Sure. Sure it’s done,” I said. I poked at it. It was a little pink in the center. Grey and pink. Not good food colors. I cut towards the end, pretty sure those pieces would be done at least. I took a bite. I smiled. I chewed. I smiled bravely while I chewed, and then my eyes watered and my brain screamed “FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY SPIT IT OUT!” I swallowed.
“It’s bad, isn’t it,” said Dave.
“No…it’s not..baaaaad,” I drawled.
Dave took a bite and, to his credit, actually swallowed it. “Kinda rubbery, dontcha think?” he said. My daughter was in the process of taking her first bite when she heard his verdict and immediately beelined it for the kitchen sink where she made her opinion known with gagging.
Not only was it rubbery (although a tender rubbery. Like, not hard to chew but still rubbery. Very odd sensation.) but it didn’t taste like lemon pepper or pork or a combination of lemon pepper and pork or even just lemon or just pepper or just pork. It tasted like chemicals, only not in a good way. More like in a “I’m eating rubberized Lysol” way.
So now, we have an entire lemon pepper pork roast bagged up in the freezer until we decide what to do with it. I can’t throw it away because of all the starving children in China and Dave won’t let me pawn it off on our son (“Really, honey. I think you have given him enough fodder for the therapist.”) so it will just sit in the freezer until one day Dave throws it away when I’m not looking.
Meanwhile, I have a pressure cooker for sale. Only used three times!
PS. I am fully aware that my experiences have more to do with the cook and not so much the cooker, so no need to point that out.
PPS. If you DO point it out, expect some rubber pork roast on your porch.
PPSS. This is why I eat cake. Cake would never do this to me.