Kim Hedzik

Don't Blogger me, I'm writing.

The Instant Pot Shame Game

I listened to her boast about the multi-function one pot and I knew I’d been cast as the voice of Alexa Silver, i.e. Alexa for seniors. In my new role, I was reduced to monotoning, “Uh huh,’ to her every comment. I feigned enthusiasm for the Instant Pot for nine painful minutes before I volunteered to walk the dog in 10-degree weather.

“That thing will change your life,” claimed one.

The Instant Pot does it all,” said another.

“Best rice ever,” came the third.

Something must be wrong with me. I can’t get past the second page of directions telling me how to avoid scalding my face while using this groundbreaking device.

“Your brother used his Instant Pot the evening he got home from a 10-hour car ride in heavy snow,” she said.

“Uh huh,” I said.

“What about you?” she inquired.

“Ah… I haven’t taken it out of the box yet,” I confessed.

“Oh,” she sniffed.

“I will,” I rebounded.

“Uh huh,” she disagreed.

Another week went by with no Instant Pot debut.

“How’d you like the stew I served the other night?” she inquired.

“Good. Thanks for bringing that over,” I said.

“Made it in the Instant Pot,” she revealed.

“Uh huh,” I said. I couldn’t tell her I had doctored up her stew with red wine on the STOVE! 

This losing ping pong game went on for weeks until I drove by her house one afternoon and noticed she had a pile of pots and pans at the curb.

“What are you guys doing out here?” I demanded.

“She only has eyes for one pot anymore,” came the sad reply.

“No!” I declared as I stomped up to the front door with a large pasta pan tagging along behind me.

She greeted me with, “Oh hi honey.”

“Where’s dad?” I demanded.

Her face turned a bit pale, but she managed to say, “in the kitchen.”

I found him peeling potatoes and carrots for the hungry Instant Pot.

“What is the meaning of this?” I snarked at him as I held up a discarded pot from the curb. 

“Oh, hi honey,” came his breezy reply.

They had both been brainwashed by this intruder. This One who promised them everything they ever dreamed of instantly. This counterfeit savior promised minimal clean up and savory food in minutes without the dryness one expects from a microwave or the six-hour wait from a slow cooker.

“How can you abandon ship like this?” I asked.

“New things come along sweetheart,” the silver sneakers couple told me.

“Alexa, shuffle Sinatra,” my dad threw out.

“When did you get an Alexa?” I asked as the pot I’d been holding dropped slowly to my side from the weight of our conversation. Fly Me to the Moon, rang out from their newest acquisition and I eased myself into a chair.

“Your father and I are keeping up with the times,” she said smiling at me.

“Since when? You guys don’t even know how to open a browser on the iPad we bought you four years ago,” I wondered aloud.

It was then I realized the Instant Pot had stolen my parents. I had to get them back. No direct rationalization would work. I had to be clever. I had to out cook them. I bought myself a cast iron skillet. When his birthday came around, I baked a cake in it.

“Oh, this is tasty,” he said as he asked for seconds. “How’d you make it?”

“In a cast iron SKILLET. In the OVEN,” came my reply.

They both stopped eating.

“Well that’s something we haven’t tried in the Instant Pot, but we certainly will now,” they responded.

In the back of my pantry, in its original box, is a bread making machine my father was enamored with in the 90’s. There’s a cupcake spinner thingy that makes applying sprinkles less messy. And resting naked under the stove is a blending device with 59 parts to assemble and clean just to liquify one cup of hearty soup. There was a turn-the-dial-by-hand pasta making machine until my mother wanted it for herself. I happily gave it to her because I only used it once in 20 years. Before kids.

When I told my mother I didn’t want a Serious Mixer — the kind that stands on the counter looking impressive and has multiple blades and bowls and comes in fun colors – she sulked for six months.

“I have a $20 hand mixer I use for everything. It works well and I can put it away when I’m done,” I reasoned with her. 

“But what will you do when you make my pound cake…the recipe requires you to mix the batter for 15 minutes,” she pointed out.  

“I won’t make it,” I said.

“I’ve failed you,” she said as she closed her recipe book.

Every week or so I drag out the Instant Pot directions and try to muster up the enthusiasm to avoid third degree burns from splattering oil or rogue escaping steam. This multi-function, super versatile chamber pot will soon join the rest of my museum pieces. Meanwhile, I am building a fire out back to spit roast a chicken for dinner. My parents are coming over.

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