The New Pot

Photo Credit: Krystal Kwok on Unsplash

I succumbed. You all probably knew it was inevitable.  I started seeing the new electric pressure cookers about 18 months back and have talked myself into and out of getting one repeatedly in that time.

Last week I got my monthly notice of how many award points I’ve earned at work. Award points can be used for the various merchandise that my company uses as incentives and rewards (we have a massive warehouse).  Except for State Fair tickets and Renaissance Fair passes, I haven’t spent award points on anything else for a couple of years so I have a big build up.  Any resolve I’ve had about not getting more kitchen toys dissolved pretty quickly.  The will-call ticket came to me on Thursday and I went over to the warehouse at noon to pick it up.

I spent an evening looking up cookbooks on the library website but to tide me over, I printed off a bunch of recipes off the internet. Six cookbooks now in transit.  And despite the fact that we didn’t really need a bunch of food prepared, I spent Saturday afternoon in the kitchen.

I did macaroni and cheese , a big pot of Spanish rice (and I mean a BIG pot) and then a really spicy black bean soup. It was easy and fun.  I figure I can probably get rid of my old pressure cooker that has sat unused in the basement for at least 10 years.

What was the last really unnecessary toy/gadget you’ve added to your world?

51 thoughts on “The New Pot”

  1. A number of years ago we bought a little wooden paddle with grooves on it for the rolling out of gnocchi. You just roll the raw gnocchi over the board gently to make the characteristic groove pattern on the little dough pillows. I only used it once. In the last week, though, I have used it twice since I found a really manageable gnocchi recipe. It was sort of a frou frou purchase years ago but it turned out to be useful.

    The trick to good gnocchi, buy the way, is to use Russet potatoes and to rice the potatoes before you mix them up. I got this recipe from the Fargo Forum, from the Lost Italian feature they have each week.

    1 pound Russet potato peeled and cut in half
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon table salt (not kosher)

    Boil the potato halves until soft to the touch. Strain the potatoes, return them to the pot and cook for an additional 30 to 60 seconds over low heat to cook off any excess water.

    Rice the potatoes. Sprinkle the flour on top of the riced potatoes. Add the egg and salt. Mix together gently with a fork until combined. Add a little flour if too sticky. Don’t over handle the dough. It should be fluffy.

    Divide the dough into three smaller balls. Roll each ball into a ¾-inch diameter rope. Cut the rope into 1-inch long pieces. Roll each piece off a wooden gnocchi board or fork to create the traditional grooves in the gnocchi.
    Drop each dumpling into boiling water and cook until all pieces have floated to the surface, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer immediately to a sauté pan or pot and toss with sauce for about 2-3 minutes over medium heat.

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      1. I have the perfect pesto recipe. Son gave a jar to a Coatian counselling intern at his place who grew up in Venice, and he said it was just like the pesto he got in Italy.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d have to have your frou-frou toy. The one and only time I’ve done gnocchi, the amount of work to make the little gnocchis with spoons and forks was way more than I was willing to do.

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  2. Our new Swedish mixer is to arrive Monday. Husband justifies the sticker shock by saying that it is ok to buy such a mixer since we don’t have a boat or a lake home. We could go broke using that sort of logic.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Another rationale that might work is that these kitchen implements encourage and enable you to do more home cooking, and that’s both healthier and cheaper than eating out a lot.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. i bought my sister one of those for christmas or a birthday a year ago and she loved it but it broke. i pulled the receipt and gave it to her. she loved the unit and how well it worked while it worked but i think she avoided confrontation and just let it go
    a pressure cooker is a wonderful tool and this relit the appetite
    the last expense i had on s non appreciated article is a little honda scooter like a vespa

    i thought my daughters would like it but they don’t have any interest

    oh well i think i’m in for $50 and i bet i’ll get that much of s kick out of it myself

    Liked by 2 people

  4. My last set of golf clubs.

    My wife is the “unnecessary gadget” person in the house. She recently bought an insta-pot, a rice cooker, and a new crock pot because she got tired of needing pliers to lift the cover off the old crockpot. If it slices, dices, juliennes, chops, minces, purees, or cooks something in half the time, she wants it. The funny thing is, she loves kitchen gadgets but only cook dinner about once a week.

    Chris in O-town

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  5. I buy very few “toys” of any sort anymore, and when I do, it’s as a replacement for one that bit the dust. I think my vegetable scrubber was my last such purchase.

    But there may be a new toy in the near future, we shall she. Cooks on Crocus Hill are offering a class in Sous Vide cooking on April 3rd, and I’m contemplating signing up, and if I do, I’ll likely end up investing in a sous vide stick. (See what I did there? It’s an investment, not frivolous spending.)

    Here’s the menu for the class: Chicken Liver Mousse with Grilled Bread and Quick-Pickled Cucumbers; Oil and Herb Poached Trout Salad; Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce; Chocolate Pots de Crème.

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    1. Which reminds me that on the occasion of buying my vegetable scrubber, I also bought a ginger grater. I have a microplane, but it’s too fine (or perhaps dull, at this point) to deal with anything other than cheese. Still not sure that has panned out as I had hoped.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I buy only useful things. Jim, on the other hand, buys all kinds of crazy stuff. The fact that he works around the Electronics area at Target is extremely dangerous. We have a couple Alexas and a couple Google Dot thingies scattered around the house. They’re obnoxious, but I have to admit they are quite handy at turning on and off the lights, music, telling jokes, the weather, etc. But you have to ask “just right” and enunciate well or you’ll get some other goofy crap.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I bought a nutmeg grinder. Not a necessity but sure is nicer than trying to grate nutmeg on the microplane-type grater and grating my fingers and not being able to grate more than half the nutmeg.

    Liked by 4 people

        1. I have an old coffee grinder that I no longer use for coffee, and that’s what I use for all of my spice grinding – except for pepper, which has it’s own dedicated grinder that’s always on the dinner table.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. I bought an immersion blender at an garage sale. Haven’t tried it yet. I also bought a rice cooker at a garage sale. I’ve been very pleased with it – even cooked an artichoke in it recently.

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    1. I agree, BiR, an immersion blender is a wonderful tool. Which reminds me I should take mine along to the class at Cooks on Crocus Hill. It doesn’t wan’t to hold a charge anymore. Wonder if you can replace just the rechargeable battery part? tim seems like a person who might know this. What say you, tim?

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