Pressure Cooker Convert Safety Tip

Remember Kids, Treat Your Kitchen Implements With Respect!


I was seconds away from my big “Eureka!” moment. After numerous attempts to create a reasonable facsimile of Detroit-style Coney Island Sauce (Hot Dog Chili for the uninitiated), I could feel it, this was the one!

But in a matter of seconds, things went from a “Eureka” moment to a “Oh, $%^&#” moment.

Before putting the chili under pressure (for  a mere 7 minutes), I wanted to get the oven fries that I had planned for accompaniment going. So, I pulled out my trusty mandoline slicer in order to quickly slice those babies. That’s where things took a turn for the worse.

Yes, as I have answered to many queries over the past week or so, my mandoline has a guard. But, with potatoes, you can’t use the guard until they get down low enough to hold without tipping over. And yes, as I also have answered more than once over the past week, I could have cut the potatoes in half first, which perhaps I will consider in the future.

Anyway, as I was almost finished slicing, I apparently got a bit careless, thereby ending up with a beautiful mound of uniformly sliced potatoes topped by a small chunk of my left thumb.

Searching the apartment for bandages, I came up empty-handed, so bundled what was left of my thumb with paper towels, held in place with packing tape. (Note to self: get a damn first-aid kit).

While the bleeding didn’t seem to be showing any sign of stopping, I pressed on, not only finishing dinner preparations, but also eating.

At that point, with the bleeding subsiding somewhat, I decided to walk down to the local CVS and purchase some proper bandages.

When I got home, I removed the makeshift bandages, and once again it started bleeding. The S.O. convinced me to go to the ER. I thought I probably should listen to her this time. I say this time, because a couple years ago I got hit by a car while riding my bicycle home from work, and responded to her pleas to get it checked out with “I’m fine, that would just be a waste of time.” Then an hour or so later, I looked in the mirror and discovered that my pupils were two distinctly different sizes. At that point I realized that I most likely had a concussion, but didn’t say anything so as not to admit that I was wrong. But from then on I decided that anytime anything happened that she felt was serious enough to merit a visit to the local emergency room, that I should probably listen.

The S.O. doesn’t drive, and I thought better of riding my Vespa to the hospital with a bleeding thumb. Besides, the hospital is just 6 blocks from home, so we walked it.

Unable to give me stitches because of the nature of the cut (it was basically flat, so nothing to sew together), they used something called “gelfoam” to seal the cut and stop the bleeding. So, for the past week or so, my cooking has been minimal since I soon discovered that a bulky bandage on the thumb of your dominant hand can really get in the way when trying to cook.

So the moral of the story is, take care when using all kitchen utensils, from your treasured pressure cooker, to the various knives, slicers, peelers, blenders and processors. It only takes a second of carelessness to have to put up with a couple weeks of a big, bandaged thumb.

And by the way, the Coney Sauce was excellent (the recipe will be coming soon)!