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I will never, ever cook with a pressure cooker.

Ever!

“Why?” you ask…

Because my Mother put the fear of God into me each time she cooked with her pressure cooker.

She used it almost every week to make her stuffed peppers, cabbage rolls and chicken paprikash.

Without fail, as I was growing up, each time I walked into the kitchen while she was using her pressure cooker I would receive the sternest of warnings.

She would point to the little hissing pressure regulator on top of the pressure cooker lid as it shuddered under the building steam inside the pot on the stove.

Then using her other hand she would shake her finger at me.

“DO NOT TOUCH THAT,”

…she ordered me in no uncertain terms.

When I asked her why, she replied:

“Because it will explode and everything inside that pot will be splattered all over the kitchen and ceiling.”

Chicken Paprikash all over the ceiling I thought to myself…

I don’t even like to eat the stuff, let alone have a whole pot full dripping from the ceiling over me.

How horrible is that?

Mind you, Mother’s chicken paprikash was very popular among friends and family. However, to a young ten year old girl like me, the dish had far too many onions.

How many onions did Mother always brag about putting in her chicken paprikash?

“A dozen,” she would boast.

I cannot count the number of times I heard Mother relate horror stories of exploding pressure cooker pots, all true experiences from people she personally knew.

That’s when I would make a solid effort to tune out what she was saying as she recounted the harrowing series of events that followed.

It was just too painful for me to think about.

It came to the point that I would not even enter the kitchen when Mother was cooking with her pressure cooker.

Even as an adult.

And so…

I believe it was the last time that Mother and I sat down to an exemplary meal of her perfect corned beef and cabbage, which she made using (of course) her pressure cooker…

When she suddenly asked me:

“Do you ever use a pressure cooker?”

“No…” I answered, “I’m too scared to use one.”

“Too scared?” she said sounding quite surprised as she raised her eyes up from her dinner plate to me.

“Why would you ever be afraid of using a pressure cooker?”

(Insert heavy sigh here…)

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