Things My Grandmother Knew: How to Use a Pressure Cooker

My grandmother knew how to cook.  During college, I drove back and forth from South Carolina to Colorado at least twice a year and usually with a carload of hungry kids.  Being right off I-70, my grandparents house was the stop of choice and we always found a HUGE meal ready.  It didn’t matter if we came through early in the morning, during lunch, or at dinner time.  She always had food waiting for us.  Normally, we were driving straight through and we hit Quinter about breakfast time and we would find ourselves seated around a table of eggs, bacon, biscuits, gravy, hashbrowns, fresh fruit and well….anything else our heart happened to desire.

As I spent time at my grandparents home, I can remember my grandmother often using a pressure cooker.  I specifically remember her using it for green beans with ham.  Oh my goodness was that good!  However, I sadly admit to you…that I don’t know how to use a pressure cooker and I have sorted through some of my grandmothers recipes, I have seen her mention it on several occasions.  Thus, I’m looking for suggestions on some sort of tutorial on how to use one.  I’m scared to death of them.  If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times, pressure cookers can be dangerous.  I’m sure that referred to much older models.  BUT, the fear has been permanently implanted into my memory.

I even have my grandmother’s old pressure cooker.  Yet, again I’m afraid to use it because I don’t know how safe it is.  SO, I need to buy one if I’m going to learn this skill and I need to find a tutorial on how to use it.  NO….I do NOT want to read the instructions…I want someone to SHOW me how to do it.  I happened to find a video how-to that showed me what I wanted to know…and you know what?  The demonstrator lives at a high altitude, just like me!  Very encouraging!

How to Use and Care for a Pressure Cooker

So…what’s my next step?  I’m going to go buy a pressure cooker.  Then, I’m going to try this recipe for Country Green Beans and Ham.  If I don’t blow myself up, I hope to show you a video of my learning this skill.  Now, that could be quite entertaining!  HA!



3 thoughts on “Things My Grandmother Knew: How to Use a Pressure Cooker

  1. I got up a little while ago to find this blog this morning. I enjoyed it so much!!! You have the really large pressure cooker for canning, don’t you. I think Shirley has the smaller one. I do know that Mother always said when for me to put the gauge on it or that it would blow up!!! I LOVE this blog!!! You always do so well!!!

  2. My mom also burned into me how very very dangerous it is to use a pressure cooker. Then, many years later, she confided that, if you follow directions carefully it really isn’t that dangerous. The dangerous thing is little hands getting involved!!! So learn, follow directions and tell your own little urchins to KEEP AWAY…but don’t be afraid..cuz now you are no longer a little kid underfoot!

  3. Yes…I have grandma’s large one…but I’m just not sure that it is safe to use and there are no instructions. I will always keep it though because of who it belonged to and what it represents.

    Mary….I’ll keep you posted on my “learning curve”.

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