Monday, August 3, 2009

Pots and Pans, oh just clap your hands, oh just clap your ha-ands

Sooo, I only just broke open the box of my pressure cooker and used it.

I got this pressure cooker as a bridal shower gift about this exact same time LAST YEAR.

This clearly just goes to show that I did not deserve to receive so many gifts because I might be 80 years old by the time I break into everything I was gifted and use it. Mind you, I'm grateful for everything, I just might not live to use it all. And this was one of the things I genuinely wanted to have because I was curious how it'd work. In fact it's pretty rad. It's like a crock pot, only without all that pesky waiting time of slowly cooking all day. I do however have to admit that I was intimidated by using it. I've seen a lot of cartoons in my youth where it blows up and expels its contents all over the room. I'm sure a lot of other people tend to feel the same way; I've never seen anyone actually use one on any cooking show, my mother's never used one and my friends never make any mention of.

I think it's sort of retro. But so far I like it, and I think it'll be my new favorite toy when making things like stock that sit on my stove chugging along for hours and hours and hours. Instead of that I can throw it in the pressure cooker and be done in 1/3rd the time. Saves time, saves electricity (I have an electric range..sigh) and they say it saves nutrients and vitamins because they aren't all cooked out. I don't know how much I believe that, but I'll just nod along.

I was about to also use my cake platter/dome, but the tiramisu I made was way way way smaller than the dome and if I put the tiramisu in there it'd look so tiny and sad. Plus it'd eat up like 1/3 of my fridge space because tiramisus need to remain chilled due to all the dairy. One day I'll need to make a normal cake that doesn't require refrigeration.

I do however feel good about wiping all those glasses and goblets off the registry because ugh, yeah..I only have like one shelf in one cabinet available for glasses and those suckers take up a ton of space. Now that I'm married I also do not drink any more than I did previously. In fact, I drink a lot less...so I really WOULD be 80 by the time I finally used those glasses. I know everyone says "oh, but we'll need it when we have holidays at our house" but when is the last time I even had a dinner guest? My dinner table is positioned so that only three people can eat at it. That means, Trevor, myself and one lonely guest.

I've been bargaining back and forth with myself about getting an enamel coated cast iron dutch oven. I want one...but I don't need one. So I keep going back and forth. And then back and forth. And then I hover extra long at Macys looking at one. They are crazy heavy just empty so I imagine I might break my weak chicken arms trying to carry one from the range to the oven and then to the table. But I also don't have a good stove. It seems silly to spend money on something I don't need when I have 90 gazillion pots and pans already. Perhaps when I have a really awesome gas range I'll find it'll be a welcome splurge for myself. A gift for being patient and awesome.

That or I accidentally melt some more of my existing pots and pans by being a doof and thus need to replace them.

I melted one this past weekend because I forgot about it on the stove when I was boiling water. Honest mistake. I didn't like that one anyway...wasn't non-stick. Constantly had gunk stuck to it I had to soak repeatedly to get off. I know that chefs seem to like the stainless, but I can't get into it. I have to use like 4 times more oil to coat the pan and I start feeling queasy about how that's all going to be stuck to my arteries. (Never mind the fact I use olive oil...I still am convinced I'm going to die.)

What did I make this weekend? Lasagna rollups for my Trevor. I'm not the biggest lasagna fan, but Trevor is so I pulled together a crab, shrimp and salmon filling for the lasagna. Rollups? Well, it's a slightly less time consuming manifestation of lasagna that traditionally takes hours to cook in the oven. These, you boil your noodles, lay then flat on your counter and spread your filling on top of the noodle. You then roll them up like a jelly-roll cake...except pasta-y. I had a mix of tomato sauce from a jar and a homemade mushroom cream sauce. Your precooked lasagna rolls still need to go in the oven to get all gooey and delicious. I don't have a timer...I just eyeball it. Maybe 30 minutes?

I would make a horrific cookbook writer, huh? I never have any measurements and I never know how long it takes to do anything. But it was delicious. And I like that it's individually portioned.

I know everyone and their dog's best friend's cousin's chiropractor has a story about how their grandmother made sauce from scratch, but not me. My grandmother never even ate spaghetti and meatballs in her entire life. And everyone just does it from the jar or can anyway. They talk a great game about how they love homemade sauce and then just go out and by it prefab and throw in some garlic powder and oregano to pretend it was homemade. Seems a little odd to me.

How many ingredients do you have to add to something in order for it to go from unhomemade, to homemade? I'm curious...I'm not just being a jerk about it. Like, if I buy bread and take a slice, stick it in the toaster and schmear it with butter, I didn't just make homemade toast?...or did I? Does the heating it make it homemade? If that's the case, if I heat up a frozen pizza can I then claim it's a homemade pizza?