Monday, February 18, 2013

Kitchen Gadgets

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For Christmas Mr S gave me this lovely electric kitchen gadget. It's not just a pressure cooker but also a steamer, sauter, crockpot, & can keep your food warm when it's done to boot. It took a little fiddling to figure out the pressure cooker setting as the book has you cooking just about everything on a low pressure setting from huge chunks of meat to white rice. In fact, after careful reading I noticed the only thing they had you cooking on a higher setting was brown rice?!

We learned pretty quickly that the book was "off" in regards to the pressure settings matching the times listed in the booklet, & once I made those adjustments it worked beautifully. Corned Beef in an hour. Boneless Roast chicken {yes, weird, but it was on special} in less then an hour. Sauerkraut in an hour with pork roast! It can manage rice in 7 minutes, white rice that is. The guys don't like brown rice & I can't eat rice so their rice takes 7-9 minutes depending on how big of batch I make.

The machine is amazing & was so wonderful to have full on meals this summer without overheating our kitchen. Despite the warm weather we had stew, mostly because the meat was in the freezer & needed using up, & it took less then half the normal time to make. I love that if we get caught up in a lesson & it gets late it doesn't mess up dinner plans because this machine cooks everything so quickly.

We even steamed some veggies in it, & while the guys thought they were great the veggies were a tad overcooked for me. I had them in too long, which is an easy peasy fix. The crockpot function is pretty simple too & we often throw something in there on Thursdays which is our day out & then when we get home dinner is just about ready & we only have to fuss with vegetables & waiting on Mr S to bike home.

This machine has taken the place of our normal rice cooker & crockpots. We donated one crockpot to the op-shop while the other, along with the rice cooker, are in the camping gear now. Does that sound weird? Yeah, it seemed weird to me at first too considering we never used electricity when we went camping, but then again when you grow up in NY state you don't have full state wide fire bans either.

So in Tassie if you want to eat when you go camping you have to work with electricity or balance using an electric barbecue with other campers. I just take a rice cooker & a slow cooker. Nerdy? Maybe, but my gang didn't seem to complain about the poached eggs & toast I made in the rice cooker or the baked potatoes we made in the crockpot. Then again, the wildlife didn't complain about it either all though they did get a tad nosey & attempt to pry the lid off. Rascals!

As for the pressure cooker {which is actually called the Fast Slow Cooker} it's really fun to use now that we've worked out the pressure settings on it. I saw a recipe the other day for making cheesecake in the thing, which I thought was very interesting, but I don't think I'll be making it anytime soon. Just don't tell Morgan. I think that boy lives for Cheesecake. I think instead we'll work on pot roast, the store makes a beautiful pre-marinated one that I'd love to replicate...

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