The Pressure Cooker – A Sister’s Tale

The Pressure Cooker – A Sister’s Tale

Phyllis Lifestyle 16 Comments

A Sister’s TaleWhen Phyllis was redistributing her items during the move, I mentioned that I needed a new crock-pot. “Don’t buy one,” she said “I have a brand new one that you can have!” Once she was “settled” in my house, she mentioned that the crock-pot was in a box in the garage. I went out to retrieve it only to find that it was not a crock-pot, but an electric pressure cooker. When I told her it was not a crock-pot, but an electric pressure cooker, her reaction was “Oh, let’s try it out. We will cook a pot roast!” Now my mind flash backed to being a little girl at my grandmother’s house and watching that pressure cooker spew and sputter on the stovetop as green beans or beans were cooking. I remember the fear that I felt just knowing that that thing was about to explode. So I thought to myself, “Great, we are going to blow up my kitchen!”

Well, I walk in the kitchen a few nights later and there are Phyllis, Neal and my husband, Allen, all standing around this wonderful machine that is going to produce our fantastic supper in an hour. All the ingredients had been added and we were about to plug it in and wait for the pressure to build up. I wish I had taken a picture of four adults standing around this tiny pot. I am sure we made quite a scene, just waiting for something to happen! Luckily, everything worked perfectly and an hour later the timer went off and we let Neal release the pressure valve (after all, he is a fireman!). We sat down to a wonderful meal of roast, potatoes and carrots. Job well done!

Wouldn’t it be great if we all had a pressure valve that we could just release every now and then to let off steam? You know, in some way we do have that in our lives…we have friends, family and co-workers who let us vent whenever we need to!

Pot Roast with Sweet Potatoes
Makes 6 to 8 servings
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  1. 1 (3-pound) chuck roast
  2. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  3. 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  4. 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  5. 4 cups peeled and coarsely chopped sweet potato
  6. 2 cups chopped yellow onion
  7. 1 cup chopped celery
  8. 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  9. 1 (10.75-ounce) can beef consommé
  10. 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  11. 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
  12. 1⁄2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  13. 1⁄2 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Rub roast with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cook in skillet until browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  3. Transfer roast to a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker. Add sweet potato, onion, celery, and tomato.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine consommé, cinnamon, cumin, paprika, and chile powder, stirring well. Pour over roast.
  5. Cover and cook on high until meat is tender and potatoes are cooked through, 4 to 5 hours.
  1. Beef consommé can be found in the canned soup aisle of your local grocery store.
The Ribbon in My Journal - Phyllis Hoffman DePiano

What recipes do you like to cook with a pressure cooker?

Comments 16

  1. Thank you so much for sharing sweet potato recipe!
    I am inspired from this post to cook this recipe. Actually I don’t like sweet potato. But this is really necessary for health. Now I will try to cook this and your post works for me because ingredients and instructions will be necessary to me. I love this post.

  2. recently bought an electric pressure cooker-never used the stovetop one-heard too many
    horror stories. I love my electric one especially spare ribs and soup. I love your story.

  3. Your blog brought back memories. My mom will use only her pressure cooker for potatoes and artichokes. I too had this fear of a sudden explosion. Your words have brought laughter and warmth. ( Venting with a dear friend is a good thing.)

  4. You girls, what adventures you are having! Thanks for bringing us along. I’ve been thinking about getting one if the Elevtric pressure cookers. I can remember two recipes my mother made in ours when I was little – porcupine meatballs and stuffed peppers.

  5. So glad your experience turned out fine. When I was in college (a long time ago) my cousin decided to use one and somehow it exploded. That was all I needed – never had one and do not want one and if someone is using one, I stand clear. Idid hear it is excellent when used properly.

  6. You ladies should be taking pictures of this “new adventure” in your lives right now. They will be great memoires in years to come. Posting a few along the way here would be fun to see too. Sorry, I’m a photo taking girl so that was my first thought for your wonderful adventures. I use a stove top pressure cooker myself. I don’t think I can even cook veggies without it! I would be lost without it. I’m sure one reason I’ve always used one since I began cooking many years ago, is that our mama always used one…….every day. I still can hear in my mind, the soft steady jingle of the valve on top. Oh those smells, as we came into the house from school; as she would have already began supper by that time of the afternoon. Those are part of my “Mama memories”. I loved your reference of venting steam, ourselves like the valve on the pressure cooker.

  7. I’m glad you tried it too! I used a pressure cooker for years in my “early married” life, but it was the kind of scary kind. This recipe looks amazing, perhaps it’s time to have a “re-look” at a pressure cooker…ps. the slow cookers of today are absolutely divine. I don’t know how I would have dinner on the table on the days that my French antiques business takes up almost all of my day.

  8. I remember that pressure cooker at Mamaw’s. I also remember the time that mom did something wrong and got hit on the top of her nose with that pressure valve. It was years before it went down.

  9. Mother always used a stove top presure cooker and I (overcoming my fears) did for many years. Somehow I have gotten away from using mine. Recently I purchased a small electric pressure cooker; but, I haven’t ventured to use it. Your post encourages me to open it and give it a chance.
    How blessed you are to have a sister with whom to make wonderful memories!

  10. I am so glad you tried it! I love the electric pressure cooker that my Mom purchased for me years ago. Cooks meat so tender. We love to make pulled pork or pulled chicken in ours…top with some southern slaw…delicious! When my daughters moved out on there own for a recent past Christmas I asked them what they wanted and they both said “an electric pressure cooker like yours” . Well they have the gifts and use them frequently, great for a busy young woman on the go! (PS: love reading your posts…keep them coming!)

  11. Ah, the memories from childhood. My mother used pressure cookers extensively – she had two. Pot roast was a welcome specialty. Hers always had a half cup of vinegar added which made the meat more tender and the potatoes yummy. She always added the vegetables part way through. I recall the weight on top doing it’s dance as the pressure built up. The marvelous aroma filled the house as we anticipated the wonderful meal to come.
    Thanks for sharing your sisterly experiences and memories! : )

  12. Cute, hopefully-ongoing, commentary and delicious recipe-looking recipe. Having understanding friends and family is a wonderful gift. Being able to share all things and vent too is priceless.

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