I’m back…and I have an Instant Pot!
I got an Instant Pot for Christmas.
And suddenly this blog, almost defunct for so long, is perhaps returning to its former existence as “a place to post recipes so I don’t lose them.”
I loved blogging when I did it regularly, but after a few years and over 700 posts about trying to make life a little greener, I sort of…ran out of things to say. I mean, I still try to do it, but it’s not like I’m thinking of new things, just trying to keep doing as much of the stuff I was doing.
And then I got this Instant Pot. For those who don’t know, it’s this electric cooking thing that is much more energy-efficient than the stove, and in which you can saute, boil, pressure cook, slow cook, steam, and God knows what else. (It also makes yogurt, although so can almost anything, so I’m less impressed with that. I do that in my slow cooker.) I’m using it almost daily, and in fact three times today, and making some really fun things. I’ll try and post about them as I make them, so I don’t lose track.
The caveats about the Instant Pot: The timings the recipes give for pressure cooking do not count the time it takes for the pot to come “up to pressure”–which means everything has to heat up to a certain point in order for the little floating pressure valve to seal–and that part is difficult to predict and sometimes quite slow. On the other hand, even if it’s slow, it’s a lot quicker usually than the same thing on the stovetop, and it’s completely hands-off. The stainless steel inner pot is, at least so far, very easy to clean…but the lid tends to hold odors from whatever you’ve cooked most recently, unless you have cooked tomato sauce and/or garlic at any time, in which case it smells like that indefinitely. That said–I have made rice pudding in it while the lid still smelled like marinara, and the pudding was lovely and had no trace of the other smells.
The pressure function tends to kill the subtler flavors of herbs and spices, so it’s best to add those at the end.
The beauty of it–I barely need recipes most of the time. I can make most of the things I would have otherwise used my slow cooker or dutch oven for, and just sort of improvise. And that’s after only a couple weeks of use.
The thing is a gem. I am not one to jump onto the gadget bandwagon (remember how slow I was to embrace the Vita-Mix?), especially in my small kitchen without much storage space, but this is worth its real estate.
Recipes to come!