Thursday, March 10, 2011

Everyone take cover, I'm prepping dinner...

My dad enjoyed cooking once in awhile.  I think mostly because he enjoyed buying and experimenting with different culinary tools...He had an ice cream maker, a deep fryer...His favorite though was a pressure cooker.

Maybe you've seen one.  I couldn't tell you what a modern pressure cooker looks like, but the one we had was a stainless steel pan with a latching and locking lid.  There was a little gizmo (no idea what to call that thing on top) that like a spinning top balanced atop the entire contraption.  

I also couldn't tell you of any delicious meals he made in there.  Never do I remember getting wide-eyed in anticipation of the meal that was to come from that thing.  I think he made cow tongue in there once.  Liver and onions...In fact, I'm kind of getting that gaggy reflex just recounting his pressure cooker meals.

What I can tell you is that my dad, when he did use our pressure cooker was a 6 foot 3 inch, 198 pound tower of chicken shit.  Really.  He'd pull the pan out from the least used cabinet in the kitchen and ask that everyone remain out of the kitchen for the duration of its use.  I actually remember getting nervous when he used it.  I envisioned the pan blowing up, liver and onions all over mom's white ceiling.  Pressure cooker shrapnel in the cabinets that absorbed the impact of the explosion.

After evacuating his family, he'd proceed to assemble his recipe inside the pan, then lock and load.  Meaning he'd check and recheck to ensure all parts of the pan were assembled safely.  Then he'd crank the heat.  I remember that dumb thing making this god awful hissing noise.  A constant reminder to us that some disgusting cut of meat was in there, simmering, and I'd be forced to choke it down.

Dad's usual routine also involved relieving the pressure valve once he thought the food was ready.  He look for the longest BBQ tongs he could find, stand at arm's length away, and squint his eyes as he cautiously opened the pressure valve.  Steam would come hissing out.  He'd look relieved to have escaped injury.

One day after Dad went through the entire pressure cooker routine, I happened to walk into the kitchen as he was relieving the pressure with his BBQ tongs.  I have no idea what came over me, but I screamed in the loudest, deepest voice I could muster, 'BOOOOOMMMM!!!!'.  I scared him so badly he threw the tongs as though he had expected the explosion...knew his safety plan to escape the aftermath.   He went to hit the deck.  The only glitch in his evacuation route was he forgot he left the dishwasher door open.   He tripped over it during his escape and landed face first in the middle of the kitchen floor.

I knew it wasn't wise, but I couldn't help laughing my ass off.  Yes, he was mad.  No, I didn't get dinner that night...

Thank god...It was probably liver and onions.

See ya!


  1. The weirdest gadget we had was a hot dog cooker where you place the hot dogs into prongs and shut the space age cover. I think my mom got it with Green Stamps.

  2. My Dad loved our avocado green pressure cooker as well. Once, he made beets in it. The lid blew off and there was a starburst of beet juice stains on the kitchen ceiling for the duration of my childhood. In the center of the beety starburst, was a lid shaped clean circle.

  3. We only had to suffer the indignity of cottage ham, which is essentially slaughterhouse floor sweepings boiled in a pot and congealed into a log of gristly pink regurgitude. It's what I imagined monsters being made of when you sliced them open.

  4. Zibbs - I remember Green Stamps! haha...I think my mother used them to buy my grandmother (her Mother in law) Christmas gifts!

    Chelle - I'm laughing at your lid shaped clean circle visual...haha!

    Tommy - Your comments upstage my posts...dying laughing! haha!