Instant Pot Delivered. It is not a robot, but it can make eggs.

Today the pressure cooker I ordered was delivered.  It’s all fancy and electric and does cool things.  Not SUPER cool like just everything.  But it does cool things like make food fast.  And differently.  Since I started investigating this purchase, I’ve been hoarding recipes and wondering, “Will I be able to make that in the pressure cooker?”  Tonight as I made a shit-ton of deviled eggs (because I can make hardboiled eggs in the pressure cooker), I realized that I am my father’s daughter.  I obsess over food.

At the Mariani Ranch, Dad had an acre garden.  That garden had everything in it and he and Mom tended it meticulously.  This was so different than a few years later when we moved to an apartment in Minnesota and we grew bean sprouts in the kitchen.  Not the tending meticulously, as we did do that, but the size was so different.  Tiny pots and glasses versus an acre.  But still hoarding.

Growing up, Dad did not cook often.  Mom did all the usual cooking with Dad stepping in for "special projects" (like my shit-ton of deviled eggs…).  One thing that Dad was really good consistently, though, was making a big mess (yes, me, too).  He'd get overly focused on creating a food from scratch and soon every pot and pan, every knife, every dish, would be dirty and overflowing in the sink.  I take after him in this which is why I rarely cook and when I do, it's a big to-do (like my shit-ton of deviled eggs…). 

The first time I remember Dad doing this was the Donut Weekend.  We lived on the Mariani Ranch and I was about 5 years old.  Dad decided to make donuts from scratch. This was pre-internet and my family didn't buy books.  Donut Weekend therefore required a trip to the library, several trips to different stores around town, and lots of patience on Mom's part, I imagine. 

Using  yeast and whatnot, Dad did make donuts.  They weren't very sugary sweet the way children like them, but it made for an interesting Donut Weekend and likely only cost about $237 per dozen due to all the needed purchases to make donuts that we just did not have, being non-donut makers prior.  And after, as that was the first, last, and only donut weekend.

There was also beer-making with tubes and pipes and all kinds of contraptions in and out of the house.  That was more than one weekend, but I'd say less than a couple of months.  Bread-making with yeasty concoctions all over the house lasted much longer and was much more pleasant, as the smells of warm sourdough still make me happy.

Later on in life, Dad went less crazy, but still very focused on one thing. I remember Turkey Mole in Oregon when I visited once.  It took a ton of ingredients used only that once and a combination of recipes.  It was delicious, but I don't think he ever made it again.  He collected recipes like I do, only I have the Internet to keep them in (sites like Facebook and Pinterest); he had clippings and binders and cookbooks and notebooks.  I have those now with a scrapbooking project in mind for them one day.

One weekend visit to Oregon, the local park had a pulled pork contest.  I wasn't a fan of pork chops so I didn't know I liked pulled pork.  We went to the contest and walked around tasting different recipes from different restaurants in the little paper cups they serve you catsup in.  I was in heaven and even now, pulled pork is my favorite.

I also can tell you about shopping with Dad.  Grocery shopping.  We would go to three or four stores with coupons and newspaper ads, picking up different things in each store to make a meal.  Not a week's worth of meals-- just that one big hyper-focused meal. And along the way, he'd collect things that were cheap.  I remember as a kid having a GIANT can of new potatoes in the pantry for years (expiration dates are mere suggestions, according to Dad).  Years.  Perhaps actually close to two decades.  We never used them.  Ever.  But now whenever I see cans of new potatoes, I remember that trip with Dad when I was 12 to the dented canned food store where he saw a giant can of new potatoes and had to have them.

But I think my very favorite shopping time with Dad was when he was released from the hospital.  My family was visiting for a week and the morning we were to leave, we got a call at the hotel that Dad was in the hospital with congestive heart failure.  While we were there he had ignored his kidney issues and his body rebelled.  I rented a car and stayed in Oregon for the duration of his hospital stay while they gave him extra dialysis and got him all cleaned out.  The day he was released, he felt fantastic.  It was just Dad and me against the grocery world!  We went to one shop for meat, one for apple pie, one for spices, one for cheese, a farm stand for veggies, and then a trip to the local farmers market for whatever we felt like.  It was one of my most favorite days ever with Dad.  Makes me smile even now.

So there you have it.  Dad and food.  And a shit-ton of deviled eggs.


  • Ruth Klaus | January 5, 2016 at 10:00 PM

    It is much more fun, now that I know you, to read your blogs. I love deviled eggs btw! I used to have a special deviled egg platter but I don't know where it is. I probably took it somewhere and it didn't come home with me.

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