Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Saturday, May 31, 2014

Handling the Pressure

Note the pressure 'bob'. It's there for a reason . . .
During their early years on the ranch, my parents sponsored several German immigrants.
They all proved to be wonderful, industrious, conscientious people.
Eager to work and to become 'Canadians'.
One of the girls, Erica, was helping Mom in the house when my next older brother was born.
She proved to be invaluable with the household chores and cooking, but struggled at learning English.
Mom knew a little German, however, so they managed to muddle through.
On a few occasions, though, the language barrier proved to be just that.
A barrier.
Erica was fascinated with the pressure cooker.
That miraculous appliance that could cook food in a fraction of the time.
The microwave of the 50s.
Apparently, though they were widely used in Canada, they hadn't caught on in Erica's part of Germany.
Mom had tried to school Erica on the proper use of this amazing new contraption.
She had managed to get through steps one through four.
  1. Food and a small amount of water is placed inside
  2. Seal adjusted
  3. Lid screwed on and, most importantly,
  4. Pressure bob applied.
I should point out, here, that those are the easy steps.
Then comes the actual cooking part.
And this was where Erica always came to grief.
She couldn't seem to grasp that, if the rings are up on the pressure bob, the kettle is full of . . . pressure.
Up to this point, Mom had always been there to divert disaster.
But on this particular day, Mom was still in town running errands.
Erica decided to cook dinner on her own.
What a glorious opportunity to try out the fabulous new invention!
All went well.
The pressure cooker . . . pressure cooked.
Other pots alternately steamed and bubbled.
Dinner was nearly ready.
Erica pulled the large pressure cooker off the stove and gave it a quick dunk under a cold stream of water.
Then she wrenched off the lid.
Oops.
The lid and released steam hit her. Full. In. The. Face.
And beets flew everywhere.
Erica screamed and blindly ran outside.
Dad heard her screaming and come running. There he found the poor girl, confused and in obvious pain.
Her nose was bleeding profusely and she had obviously been scalded.
He got her into the bathroom, where he started her soaking her face in cold water.
When Mom came home a short time later, she bundled Erica into the girl's bedroom and applied teabags to the exposed areas. They proved to be quite soothing and she was able to rest.
Then Mom was able to start on the kitchen which was giving a good impression of a slaughter house.
Beets were everywhere.
Mom even found one on top of the knick-knack shelf in the far corner.
Remarkably, miraculously, Erica healed without a mark.
But Mom was taking no further chances.
Though the pressure cooker remained in plain sight, the pressure bob, the little gizmo that made everything dangerous, was hidden in a very secret place.
Never store the gun and the bullets in the same cupboard.

23 comments:

  1. We had one of those when we first married...great invention as long as you take care.

    ReplyDelete
  2. We were given a pressure cooker when we got married. It is still in the cupboard. I am too afraid to use it. Your story didn't help that fear :)

    I can just see the beet juice everywhere! and Erica's poor face ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry about that!
      Soo true. Poor Erica!

      Delete
  3. And to put my comment in context, we will be married 34 years this month :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heehee! Definitely puts it into perspective! :)

      Delete
  4. I'm terrified of the pressure cooker. Seriously.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me, too. It sits thereon the shelf and whenever I open the closet door, I hear the 'Jaws' soundtrack...

      Delete
  5. I think I would be far too terrified of a pressure cooker to use it! Kinda glad I don't own one. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh my! Poor girl!
    My mom told me about her adventures as a young wife, and a pressure cooker. I never have had one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think, in this case, it's better to just read about them...

      Delete
  7. Oh my goodness. I'm already a danger in the kitchen - good thing I don't have a pressure cooker. Poor Erica.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heehee! Me, too. Better that we leave the more dangerous kitchen appliances safely on the shelf...

      Delete
  8. Microwave of the 50's! I loved this. I admit that I am terrofied of them. My SIL was cooking dinner one night and was using one. She forgot something, the lid flew up and put a whole in the ceiling. Scared me to death!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh. My. Word. I think we could send these into battle with our troops. Cook meals and fire at the enemy all at the same time!

      Delete
  9. Oh, I was always afraid to use a pressure cooker and now I know why. I am happy she wasn't hurt badly. You gave sound advice on this one.
    Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You were obviously right - and smart - to be afraid! :)

      Delete
  10. Oh I'm so glad Erica wasn't badly hurt. What a learning experience.
    I'm laughing at the beets all over the kitchen though. Reminds me of a book I read once where the woman's pressure cooker blew the lid right off during cooking and she was picking bits of chicken off walls and pictures etc for a week. I've never used one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a narrow escape.
      Hmmm . . . which to have all over your kitchen? Beets or chicken. A dilemma for sure! :)

      Delete
  11. Wow, she was very lucky not to have any scars or permanent damage!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true! Only the lesson learned was permanent!

      Delete
  12. Pressure cookers have always scared me! So glad she wasn't more hurt.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting! Drop by again!

All of My Friends

Daughter of Ishmael

Daughter of Ishmael
Now available at Amazon.com and .ca and Chapters.ca and other fine bookstores.

Follow by Email

Hugs, Delivered.

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?

Google+ Followers

Networked Blogs

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!
New Tween Novel!

Gnome for Christmas

Gnome for Christmas
The newest in my Christmas Series

SnowMan

SnowMan
A heart warming story of love and sacrifice.

Translate

My novel, Carving Angels

My novel, Carving Angels
Read it! You know you want to!

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic
What could be better than a second Christmas story?!

About the Mom

My photo

Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

Join me on Maven

Connect with me on Maven

Essence

Essence
A scientist and his son struggle to keep their earth-shattering discovery out of the wrong hands.

Essence: A Second Dose

Essence: A Second Dose
Captured and imprisoned, a scientist and his son use their amazing discovery to foil evil plans.

Looking for a Great Read?

E-Books by Diane Stringam Tolley
Available from Smashwords.com

The Babysitter

The Babysitter
A baby-kidnapping ring has its eye on J'Aime and her tiny niece.

Melissa

Melissa
Haunted by her past, Melissa must carve a future. Without Cain.

Devon

Devon
Following tragedy, Devon retreats to the solitude of the prairie. Until a girl is dropped in his lap.

Pearl, Why You Little...

Pearl, Why You Little...
Everyone should spend a little time with Pearl!

The Marketing Mentress

The Marketing Mentress
Building solid relationships with podcast and LinkedIn marketing

Coffee Row

Coffee Row
My Big Brother's Stories

Better Blogger Network

Semper Fidelis

Semper Fidelis
I've been given an award!!!

The Liebster Award

The Liebster Award
My good friend and Amazing Blogger, Marcia of Menopausal Mother awarded me . . .

Irresistibly Sweet Award

Irresistibly Sweet Award
Delores, my good friend from The Feathered Nest, has nominated me!

Sunshine Award!!!

Sunshine Award!!!
My good friend Red from Oz has nominated me!!!

My very own Humorous Blogger Award From Delores at The Feathered Nest!

Be Courageous!


Grab and Add!

Search This Blog

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?