Welcome to my Blog - What Is A Blog?

A blog is a personal diary. A daily pulpit. A collaborative space. ... Your blog is whatever you want it to be.

For many years I have kept a journal, which I don't write in as much as I once did. I have an inner yearning to communicate with the world through writing and pictures Part of my motivation is to leave something behind to a world that has given me so much - a mom, dad, brother, grandparents, a loving wife, high spirited and gifted sons, close friends and loyal customers. Most of us have had some help along the way to get where we are. In my 12 step program, step 12 is about giving back to others. I hope there are posts here that will warm your heart, make you smile and make you think. That is what my blog is all about. I hope you enjoy it. Ken

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Exploding Pressure Cooker and Annie's Reaction

I did a good job!

Yesterday we had a new oven delivered and installed. It replaces the one that needed a chair to keep the oven door shut. It had an electric cooktop and only 2 of the 4 burners worked.
Annie and I decided to get a gas top because, well . . . gas cooks better and it's easier to monitor and change the temperature. Enough of that. Now to the meat and potatoes, I mean soup portion of the story.

My mom makes great pressure cooker food - soups, to be specific. She has a really cool brand called Mirro-matic. I had to have one and awhile back I found a used one on Ebay. It worked pretty good most of the time, except it took awhile for the gasket to seal when it was heating up and it wobbled and water would drip out of the lid. Other than that, it cooked great. I made Chili, Potatoe, Vegetable, Split Pea and all kinds of great soup - well appreciated by my boys on the cold MN winter days.

Getting the thing to get hot and cook took f o r e v e r on the electric cook top.

I came home hungry yesterday after a days work and working out. Isaac, my younger son and his friend were home and I thought I'd make soup in the pressure cooker.

"How does split pea soup sound boys?" I asked. They said it sounded good.

I added the 5 cups of water and put in the mix. I turned on the biggest burner and a giant flame lit.

"Wow," I thought, "we'll have dinner in 10 minutes."

The water boiled quickly. I added the ingredients and fastened the lid. The water started dripping out of the lid and I picked up a dish towel to dry things off when all of a sudden Isaac said:

"Dad's the towels on fire!"
Luckily, the sink is close to the stove and I quickly put it out.

The water stopped dripping and the seal got tight. The pressure weight on the top of the steam vent started rattling and I set the timer for 10 minutes.
Oh, wow, this is gonna be good, I thought.

Mitch and I were talking and I looked at the timer.
"Only two minutes to go!" I said to Mitch.
Mitch started talking about his latest school project, something about making a speech about a new marketing gizmo when we heard a large KABOOM. It happened sooo fast!

The next thing I knew, the pressure cooker had erupted like a volcano and was propelled from the top of the stove to the floor - about 3 feet away. The pressure weight was gone and split pea mist was spraying e v e r y w h e r e.

Oh shit. I was hungry angry lonely and tired. I didn't plan on this happening. The soup was on every thing except in the pot.

I spent the next hour with a bucket of hot water, soap and vinegar scrubbing the thick split pea residue off the floor, walls, cabinets and pots and pans. The crud went everywhere.

At that point, Isaac and Mitch left me to clean things up. What a bummer. But it got worse.

Annie came home, all excited to see the new stove. She was eager to try it out. When I told her what happened, at first she laughed. But then she started to cry when she saw the mess I'd made. We ate a quick meal and together worked until midnight scrubbing the crud off the walls and in the crevices.

Okay so what did I do? I threw that *&#@~ pressure cooker in the trash can. No more old stuff, I promised Annie as she kept telling me,
"Your just like your grandfather."

But don't you worry. I'm in the process of doing research on finding a new pressure cooker that's going to be safe. So far I've discovered the Kuhn Rikon, called the "Mercedes of Pressure Cookers," by the New York Times.

More to come!

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