Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Beaming With Pride

My oldest Son, Rick, (Sophie's dad) has his first "official" apartment with my (soon to be ) daughter inlaw, Cristina, and finally it's fun for me to visit them anytime I want to! And of course, being the "know it all" that I am, I have been trying to help them set up household....according to "Grandma Tracy ". So what's the first thing I give them? A pressure cooker of course!

I have 3 pressure cookers. I bought my original 6 qt. PC, probably 15 years ago when I worked in a gourmet kitchen store called 'Home Chef". It sat, undisturbed, for over a decade until I spent a long weekend with my BFF Fawn Friday, and she introduced me to the amazing world of pressure cooking (this was a mistake on her part, lol....she was simply cooking some pork, in a PC, little did she know the "pressure cooker", not the pork, was the true gem of knowledge I would take away with me and go crazy with, lol).

After using the crap out of it, I was ready to buy another when a woman known as the "Veggie Queen" made a comment on my blog and I ended up buying, not only her DVD on "how to start pressure cooking", but also her cookbook, and an 8qt /4 qt, combination pressure cooker from her! (these 2 pressure cookers use the same lid, so, 2 bottoms, one top...fyi) I decided to give my son and his family the 6 qt. to see if they actually will use it, and then I'll repossess it, and buy them their own. I also gave them my copy of the Veggie Queen's DVD.

Anyway....back to the story......

Every week when I visit, I help Cristina make lunch...in the pressure cooker of course! I have her do the work, as I explain what to do. I believe the best way for someone to learn is by them actually doing it themselves.

After the first week, I returned to find out that they had not used the PC again, or watched the DVD! But, because I believe in PC-ing, and I helped them make another meal in the PC...forcing them to get over the fear. Well.....guess what?

I get a phone call from Cristina asking me if she can cook beans in the PC! Of course, in fact, if you watch the DVD I left with you, it will show you exactly how to do it! Then the next day Ricky calls, asking me some questions about the timing of cooking some chicken and rice. And then I get another call a day later asking how to cook pork shoulder.....

Are they actually using it? Yes!

After the pork shoulder was done, Rick calls me back and tells me how they just finished eating dinner, and how the pressure cooker "ROCKS"! How proud am I?

PS Rick and Cristina did finally watch the DVD! That tells me that they have a lifetime of yum, yum, yummy, fast nutritious homecooked meals in their future.....and Sophia's future!


Jen said...

That's soooo COOL! YAY for Rick and Cristina (and Sophia too!) You did that same thing for me and I'm forever grateful. I've passed the PC knowledge onto my SIL and a newlywed friend. I think they are still using it...but I didn't give them the cooking lessons like you did...only because I don't cook as good as you do! I'm still learning.. but having a blast.

Thanks again for showing me how great cooking with a PC can be!!

xoxo Jen

P.S. cutest picture of Mark and Sophia!

Laree Draper said...

You've got my interest peaked, too, Tracy. I haven't used a pressure cooker since I exploded one on my ceiling back in about... oh... 1976. :~)

ajam00 said...

Way cool!

Tina said...

I have a $250 pressure cooker that hs been sitting in my closet for seven years. I am afraid to use it.

Beth said...

This post reminded me that I too, want to do the PC thing! :-) Thanks

Tracy Reifkind said...


As you know the biggest obstacle is fear! I'm always forcing people to do things they don' want to do.....speaking of that, I can't wait to get you in the gym....in about 1 weeks time!

Jen said...

Tracy, Now you're scarying me! LOL!!!

Tracy Reifkind said...


If you like home cooked foods, fast,easy, and most importantly "in abundance", lol, then learning to use "modern" pressure cookers is a a method of cooking you'll come to enjoy...quickly!

I'm probably the only person I know that make homemade stocks and broths for cooking soups, chilis, grains, stews, polentas, risottos, hot cereals etc.

Just yesterday I made and used mushroom stock for a barley/lentil dish seasoned with sherry vinegar and olive oil, (Mushroom stems are NOT garbage, lol)

I have chicken, beef, lamb, smokey pork stock coming out of my yin-yang (is that a word?, lol)

No one eats or cooks more healthfully than me...you'd think I'd be skinnier (inside joke...Mark hates it when I say that!)...and I owe much of it to the pressure cooker!

Tracy Reifkind said...


I can't wait to visit on Friday. Roasting veggies, and maybe short ribs in the PC....although, short ribs are expensive unless you buy them in an ethnic market....

Another blogpost I want to write is about cooking on a budget....theirs! Not mine! I haven't had to take into consideration the cost of any food in....forever! It's interesting.

Tracy Reifkind said...

Tina....here is your homework for the next 2 weeks....

Pull out the intruction manuel, find something in the recipe section you want to try. Choose something you don't make regularly, but want to, like a Pot Roast. Force yourself to follow through....you'll be pleasantly surprised....but if it fails, force yourself to try one more time!

Seriously, breathe, trust, enjoy, if nothing else, you overcame a fear! (and then send my your $250 pressure cooker! lol)

Tracy Reifkind said...


All of you guys are inspiring me, even more, to use my PC.

Seriously, I use it nonstop! But it's so easy, I tend to make the same things over and over.

My son and daughter-in-law are kinda inspiring me to come up with more meal ideas that require less perep time....the problem with using "canned" foods is, I want to avoid the "dump this, dump that" kind of foods. Fresh foods take a little more time...well worth it, but that requires some motivation to apply effort!

The Veggie Queen said...


I have so much gratitude for what you do, and for mentioning my DVD on here. But more importantly, I so love that you pass on the knowledge and then others do, too. This makes me feel as if I am truly doing my life's work. I want everyone to see that they can eat well without tons of work. The pressure cooker is a big part of that.
And I made incredible mushroom stock yesterday, too, which was turned into 5 Mushroom and Barley Soup for a friend's birthday. So yummy.
Thanks again,

Linnea said...

After reading your post about how your daughter in law and son took to using a pressure cooker with some encouragement from you, I decided I too needed to get one. I purchased one today (it was on sale at Macy's). I got an 8qt Fagor that should be at my door in a week or so. I am excited to use it and have already checked out the Veggie Queen's cookbook and DVD to add to my collection.
Thank you for the inpiration to start using a PC to make my healthy meals faster.
I have also reached out to your BFF Fawn to see if she will provide some guidance if needed after I give this PC a whirl a time or two.

Thanks for the inspiration to jump into the PC world


Tracy Reifkind said...

Linnea....you lucky ass! (term of endearment, of course, lol!)

I love Fawn! OMG it couldn't get any better than having my own "Top Chef" right there for support!

Pork is Fawn's thing, and pork shoulder should be your first PC protein.....with beans of course....Fawn loves beans, lol! (Aaron on the other hand.....)

I think on my former blog I posted the recipe for Fawn's pork shoulder with mussels and prawns with swiss chard? I've gotta make that again.....so impressive....seriously!

PS my son, Rick, told me the other day that he thought the pressure cooker "rocked"! And it was his new favorite thing!