The Pressure Cooker

One of the sounds of childhood for me was the slightly scary hiss of escaping steam from the pressure cooker.

My parents believed in the pressure cooker. By making the water boil at a higher temperature, cooking times for all sorts could be seriously reduced so it was a real economy. That mattered when money was in short supply. But also, a pressure cooker was large and could have containers within it. A range of different items could be cooked on a single stove and that saved even more money. Stews, puddings, vegetables could all be cooked to perfection in the hissing monster. I recall, with particular affection, my mum’s bacon roly-poly. This was a suet based dish with bacon spread thinly through it. It must have been as cheap as possible, but oh so warming, nourishing and tasty.

The pressure cooker I remember was this one.

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This posed photo shows it sitting on the electric cooker we used until a couple of years ago. It’s an Easiwork of London Health Cooker and probably dates from about 1930. We no longer actually use this device.

I should add that this device always came camping with us. My mum had but a single primus stove with which to cater for a family of five plus visitors. So the hiss of the bomb (as we all called it) was even a holiday sound as well.

A pressure cooker is still used in my household. It comes into its own, particularly, for Christmas puddings.

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One Response to “The Pressure Cooker”

  1. Leatherworking Reverend Says:

    I hated ours, everything was boil’t until it came out as an homogenised grey slime. You could only tell the peas from the meat by the little flecks of green skin. It lasted for years until one day an entire joint of mutton was blown through the safety valve and on to the kitchen ceiling. Bomb was right…

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