"I love you so much. You are my best friend! Mom. Do you know why I love this SO much? It cooks THE BEST FOOD. Don't you wish it were also a robot? A Robot Instant Pot. Then it could do ALL THE COOKING BY ITSELF."
YES to the Robot Instant Pot. A thousand times, YES.
I'm still getting the hang of this multi-purpose-miracle appliance. There is a learning curve.
The first thing I cooked was risotto from an Instant Pot Cookbook. It was great, although, maybe a tiny bit overdone. Second was a whole chicken. Major failure. Do not make the mistake I did of reading a (free online) recipe and thinking, "Huh. That's weird. No water in this pressure cooker recipe?" and then making the recipe anyway. Just as I had thought, the pressure cooker never sealed, and then I had to trouble-shoot cooking the vaguely steamed bird from there. In short, UGH. Third, I cooked chicken broth, and that went terrifically well, but no one in my family cares about broth other than me. Fourth up was Rancho Gordo Mayocoba Beans, and the beans did not turn out well at all--15 minutes under pressure left them 1/3 cooked, and an additional 5 minutes turned them to mush. Good thing there is no better refried bean than a Mayocoba. I am currently welcoming all helpful tips on pressure cooking or slow cooking beans. Please leave your suggestions in the comments.
The recipe that had Wyatt swooning was Lemongrass + Coconut Chicken (with Cauliflower Rice). It's terrific. And it reheats like a dream in the oven. We ate it for dinner several nights in a row last week, by candlelight. So after you make the recipe I gave you last week, if you have a pressure cooker, try this one.
A meaty dinner by candlelight--no other lights, so yes, it's pretty dark dining in the winter--is the best way to cheer a grumpy, sad Wyatt when Marc isn't able to make it home in time for dinner. It makes dinner look a little different, and when you're finished eating, you can make shadow animals on the walls and talk about how "dad does them the best of all."
And Marc? He got lots of refried beans in the kitchen for dinner last week. I'm all over the place as I (and we) integrate new work routines and get back to usual life ones. And let me say that there's nothing like starting a teeny-tiny weekday morning meditation practice, where instead of feeling serenity and calm, you find you're as together as a handful of confetti someone just tossed into the wind. For example, this morning, as I sat for a minute after lighting our beeswax dinner candle (teeny-tiny practice, I tell you), I realized that last night, I never baked the bread that had been rising all day. So I baked it (slightly deflated) this morning before we left for school, but of course I managed to bake it at the wrong temperature the whole time. Poor little loaf of bread. It never had a prayer. And neither did the rest of the stuff I've already completely blown today.
In other news, I finally filmed, edited, and published two knitting tutorial videos for my Tiny Bubbles Beanie pattern. If you've been thinking you want to knit that hat, but are feeling a little tentative, hoping for some support or instruction, you can now watch my hands knit it whenever you want.
Finally, and most importantly, next Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Have you chosen a service project yet? Either way, read Jelani Cobb's terrific and important piece about the holiday. It will put you in the right frame of mind to work in support of Dr. King's ideals this year, and in the coming years. If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area, you can sign-up here for an MLK Day Project with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.