Sunday, September 27, 2009

Update on the Pressure Cooker and a Celebration

I recently posted about my unhappy experience with a Mirro Pressure Cooker. I managed to sell it on Craigslist for about $10 less than I paid for it. (Sold to someone who already knew how to use the doggone thing, so the lack of detailed instructions was not a problem.)

I turned around and purchased a Presto Pressure Cooker (for significantly less than this price) the same day. They were on sale at Fleet Farm and I figured I might as well do it and be done.

So far I have very limited experience, as I processed 4 pints of carrots from the garden (which was all Rob pulled that day) and I got started on sauce with the tomatoes. The carrots seem fine but the tomatoes were skinned and had the tops and stems cut out and I had to stop the process and freeze them. Hope to get back to them this week, perhaps.
I had planned a wine and cheese party for Rob's birthday and his MBA graduation for Saturday night. He turned 40 and I threw a gigantic party for his 30th so I decided to let him make the guest list, which ended up being 4 couples and a single friend of ours. I figured if she brought a date there would be 12 of us here; a manageable number when you have a living/dining room that is 12 feet by 20 feet.

Wednesday the world sort of fell apart, though, as my dad left his mother's home a day's drive south of here after a hearing that allowed her to be placed in an assisted living facility. This was, unfortunately, against her will but was a necessary move for her health and safety. We hope it will be a permanent move.

In a random act of the universe, my parents needed to attend a funeral in a southeast Minnesota city over the weekend. Rather than driving north to their home, picking up my mom, and driving back here, my dad came from his mom's and my mom took the train here. We made arrangements most of the day Wednesday, with me frantically trying to clean, get my vegetables put up, and figure out a meal plan, etc. for the weekend. My mom arrived Thursday morning, Dad that afternoon. Of course I had scheduled the kids and I for our FluMist that afternoon, too, so life was a little crazy that day. :)

It was lovely. My mom helped do the shopping (and the cleaning!) for the party, which was scheduled for Saturday night, and we were able to spend a lot of time hanging out, talking, and processing the painful week my dad had just endured.

They attended the funeral on Saturday and came back here, where we enjoyed them as guests 13 and 14 at our little get-together. It was cozy, to be sure, but I was so glad they were able to join us and meet several of our friends, especially our Czech friends, who will soon return to their home in the Czech Republic.

I set the baking cabinet out in the middle of the kitchen, put a few barstool around it, and covered it in wine glasses and all the reds we had. The whites were iced in the kitchen sink, and the cheeses with their cardstock labels and suggested wine pairings were on the dining table. Guess who forgot to take a picture of the lovely table? *sigh*

It was a lovely party, and I was again overwhelmed at the good fortune we have had to know all of these bright, interesting, wonderful people. We are blessed, indeed.

Anyway, all is well, things are mostly put back together after the party (although I took a nap today instead of tackling the laundry), and life will resume as normal tomorrow. And some stresses are somewhat settled, and others are not, and well, I am getting through it. Not really another option, is there?


  1. I am a fan of enjoying the moment and not worrying about other things. Laundry waits for a few days.

  2. It was a lovely evening, Jennifer! We had a great kid-free time! :) Thanks for the hospitality.