Monday, July 27, 2009

I tackled something that I was afraid of.

Friends, I cooked a meal in my pressure cooker. Remember that pressure cooker that I won from a Bloggy Giveaways giveaway back this winter? Well, I was really excited about it when it first came in. Then, people started telling me stories of massive burns and pressure cookers that blew up and that you have to do it just right and make sure of this and not of that and AAAAAAAAA! So, it hung beautifully from my pot rack all these months.

When preparing for my WFMW post, I caught a glimpse of that beautiful pot and thought, "I'm going to cook in you today." I did. Just look! Fresh herbs from the garden. Chives, thyme, parsley and sage. My chicken was frozen, but that is okay. The pressure cooker hasn't a problem with that. I read the directions that said that you must have at minimum 1 cup of liquid at the bottom. I did 1 1/2 cups just to be on the safe side. (2 chicken bouillon cubes were added to the cup and a half of water.) I placed the sage leaves in the liquid under the basket. Sage is wonderful, but can be a little overpowering to me. I surrounded the chicken with short cut carrots, topped it off with the remaining herbs, cracked some pepper over top and I latched the lid down. After a half hour (and having turned it up a couple of times), I finally started retaining pressure. I needed to be at the second orange ring for the chicken. Oh, look! We're there. (Blurry, but there.) I learned that this is a place that you don't want to go. See the blue after the last orange. That means too much pressure and the pressure cooker sounds like you are standing directly next to a tornado siren turned up full blast. I knew that my moms topper thingy giggled, so I just thought it was my pressure cookers way of jiggling. In fact, I called mom to let her hear it. Turns out, that it makes that horrific noise so that you know that you need to turn it down. It says immediately. I turned it down 9 1/2 minutes after the start of the ucky sound. Live and learn. After everything cooked at the correct pressure for 10 minutes, I allowed the pot to cool itself down and return the pressure to normal on its own. I was cooking whole grain rice and barley, so it needed a while still. But this was our dinner! I de-skinned and de-boned the chicken before serving. We all loved it. Now I'm not afraid of my lovely pressure cooker! I'm also not afraid to show you that K- wanted to nap on the hammock today. Hubs was building us a patio for our fire pit/grill and she wanted to keep a close watch. (Yes, you'll get pictures after it is done.) Yes, she did lay on the hammock all the while the laundry was drying. But while I was tackling things that frightened me today, I washed K-'s bed quilt. Now, that probably doesn't sound that frightening to most, but a lot of quilts like to come apart when you wash them. This was a Target 50.00 bed set from 4 years ago. I had it hung from her wall for a few years and admit that for the last year and a half, I've had it on her bed. She doesn't use it as a quilt. We use it as a bedspread, so other than sitting on it, it gets no wear. Still, it needed freshened up. I threw it in the laundry on handwash. I even ran a second rinse cycle. Only thing is that I forgot to flip the load size. This washed on an extra small load, which obviously its not. Soap (I use powder because I get it cheaper) just sat in the grooves and whatnot. I had to rerun it all the way through again. It came out nice, though. As far as hanging it on the line, I decided to spread it out and hopefully it would dry faster. I flipped it once and it seemed to dry pretty well. There was one damp spot on the top, but it dried by dinnertime. K- had a good day of fun. How do you know? You measure by how filthy her feet are. These, my friends, are very, very dirty feet. (Yes, the toe nails need repainted, too.) K- and I have done a few crafts together over the last few days. Aunt April gave K- a sock puppet set for her birthday (I think) and we got to doing it the other day. K- wanted a butterfly. Here it is, with proboscis and everything. We also decorated the top of her plastic pencil box for school. I have the Elmer's glue paints that have glitter in them and some are solid, opaque colors. We added her name in stickers I had leftover, some rhinestones and butterfly stickers from the potty training days. We also went to Lowe's for the Build and Grow Clinic. We built a helicopter. I have to tell you, it wasn't one of the easier kits to build.
We completed it, though. Both propellers turn (okay, so that isn't what the one in the back is called, a rutter, maybe), which means that I didn't use too much wood glue and glue them permanently stuck.

Smiles in my day:
- On Friday, our wonderful neighbor Mike was power washing his house. He decided to be kind and to power wash the back of our fence. Problem is, I had the sheets on the line. After I got him to stop (by jumping up and down and waving my hands over the fence), I took the sheets back in to rewash. Seriously, he was just trying to do a nice thing and he felt so bad!
- Hubs worked for 12 hours straight to get our patio area prepared for our fire pit/grill. All we need now is the stone to go in it.
- K- had a better day today than last night. Baby girl is without TV until next Monday. Ouch. At least her giant breakdown was at home and not in public this time. Tiredness is an ugly thing.
- The pressure cooker worked!
- I figured out that being on the box late disturbs my sleep. Hooray! I'm sleeping better!

Have a great week!

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Rach said...

I'm utterly *terrified* of pressure cookers! I have heard the same horror stories of exploding pots and food and burns and such all my life and have never wanted to try one as a result (run-on sentence anyone?). I'm thrilled to hear it works without any trouble. :o) The dinner looks divine. :o)

I'm insanely jealous of K in the hammock. I'd LOVE to be able to hang out in one all day. Ahhhhhhh

Bailey's Leaf said...

Come on over. We'll let you hang out in the hammock and I'll make you pressure cooker chicken without exploding the house! :)

Rach said...

Don't tempt me...I'm *desperate* to escape the heat and humidity that seem to be lingering. It was close to 100 Saturday--ugh.

Jamie said...

The chicken looks absolutely yummy! WTG on getting over the pressure cooker fear.

Jenn said...

I chuckled out loud at some of your smiles for the day. Your poor sheets and the fact you were jumping up and down to get his attention. Too funny!!

I have never had a pressure cooker, but have never really heard much about them either. Your meal sure looks yummy that you prepared!

ChupieandJ'smama said...

Glad that you used the pressure cooker and am no longer afraid of it. I'm like that with canning. I've heard horror stories. I'm afraid to to can because I'm afraid of something exploding. I know, it's irrational but I own it.
The quilt looks nice and it looks like a fun place to play under while it's drying.
Wish we had a hammock:)