09 January 2013
Amy Kinnaird recalls days spent standing over a hissing, spitting piece of cookware which was nevertheless capable of producing some great dishes. ...
Amy Kinnaird recalls days spent standing over a hissing, spitting piece of cookware which was nevertheless capable of producing some great dishes.
54 years ago, in June 1958, my husband and I received a Prestige Pressure Cooker as a wedding present. As a rookie cook, I approached it with trepidation. However, by closely following the instructions and the recipe book which was enclosed with it, I gradually began to use it.
To begin with, I was alarmed by the loud hissing sound and drops of water forming around the pressure control, but once I lowered the heat, there was a continuous softer hissing sound which persisted throughout the cooking time. I soon learnt to distinguish between the different sounds. In the early years of my marriage, I cooked potatoes and vegetables quite successfully. Then I found it really useful for beef stews, mince and pot roasts. I was also quite good at making soup in it. The recipe book also contained information for cakes and bread but I never tried those.
I’m still using the same pressure cooker and as I live on my own, don’t use it so frequently. I find my microwave, a slow cooker and the occasional casserole easier to leave without as much supervision as a pressure cooker.
I researched pressure cookers on the internet recently – they still look much the same, but are stainless steel now, while mine is made of aluminium. The principle is the same and the best results come with practice. I think mine cost around £10 in 1958 and they are now around £60. When I give mine a good wash in soapy water and polish it with a soap pad, it still looks good for its age and wonder if the same treatment might apply to its owner…
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