Monday, August 2, 2010

Under pressure

My friend Christa has been telling me she wanted to can / preserve her own foods. She's got that itch.

I found an entry on a blog I subscribe to that dealt with that very subject, so I sent it to her. It was about canning/preservation of foods. It required a pressure cooker. And that got me thinking about a time when my mom used them. I remember the kitchen... the tsst, tsst, tsst, tsst of the weighted "thing" on the top as it'd hiss and hiss. My mom opted for something easy for dinner since she was sick. She had pneumonia and was very tired. So we were having beans and cornbread.

As she lay in the recliner, I sat on a nearby chair drawing or something equally unimportant, I'm sure. I didn't notice that the tsst, tsst, tsst had ceased. Perhaps I just assumed someone (you know, that "someone" that ALWAYS gets blamed for everything that goes wrong) had turned the heat off the stove. Boy was I ever WRONG.

The next sound you hear is this loud popping explosion. The safety valve on the pressure cooker BLEW and BEANS WERE forced up through that hole like Mount Vesuvius! I ran to the kitchen and mom just screamed, "Get it in the sink!" I'm screaming, the dog is barking. Mom's yelling. I realize I can't do it for fear of scalding myself, so she hops up (seriously, folks she was SO SICK) so it was amazing in and of itself that she was even vertical. So, as she gingerly holds this erupting canister of beans imagine, if you will, a galley kitchen with a stove top opposite the sink. So, therefore, with a huge pressure cooker by the handle in both hands (it was heavy, heavy!) she pivoted her body from the stove top to the sink with the idea of turning the pan upside down so the continual spray of beans will go straight into the sink. However, doing so... left a trail of destruction... sigh.

Once it was all said and done... there were beans in the ventahood over the stove top. There were beans in an exploded line on the ceiling, all over the light fixture, on every single mini blind on the window over the sink straight down to the sink. I think it took us two good hours to clean all the beans off. We even had to eventually repaint the ceiling because you could see the little explosions marks everywhere.

So, when I ever heard of anyone being "under pressure" and "about to explode" ... seriously... I steer clear of them... I know what kind of disaster that leaves in its path!

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