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Of a Certain Age and Counting: Dealing with the downside of the cooking pot craze

By June Mathews

After 60 years of mostly clean living, my reputation recently took a hit when word got out that I’m a pothead.

Now before my mother gets the wrong idea and calls her fellow members of the Most Holy Senior Ladies Sunday School Class at First Baptist to add an unspoken request to the prayer list, let me quickly say, it’s not what it sound like.

Midway between Christmas and New Year’s, I decided to buy one of those popular new pots that’s not only a pressure cooker but a crock pot, rice cooker, yogurt maker, and about a half-dozen other things.

My wish to own one was sparked a few months ago when I was at lunch with some of the girls, and one of them mentioned something about her fabulous new cooking pot. And the more she talked about it, the more intrigued I became.

Then not long after that, a Facebook friend started sharing posts about HER fabulous new cooking pot, and to make matters even MORE intriguing, she shared some recipes. I could almost taste the mouthwatering dishes she described and knew that sooner or later, I was going to have to have one of those pots for my own.

My biggest concern, though, was the pressure cooking aspect. Over the years, I’d heard horror stories about pressure cooker explosions resulting in scalded body parts and collard greens hanging from the rafters. Call me crazy, but I’ve never really cared for the idea of bringing a bomb into the house.

But after some research and talking with a few other friends who’d bought fancy cooking pots of their own, the potential advantages became too much to resist. So during our first post-Christmas trip to Wally World, Jimmie and I piled a boxed cooker into the shopping cart along with the groceries, toiletries and all the deep-discounted holiday wrapping paper we could possibly use in the next 10 years, plopped down more than a few bucks of Christmas cash, and took it home.

Little did we know what a coveted item we possessed. Turns out these multi-use pots were some of the hottest-selling items of the recent holiday season to the point that even the company’s website sold out. Unaware of our dumb luck, we pulled our prize from the packaging, admired its shiny high-tech exterior, and dutifully skimmed the handful of literature inside.

And the more we read, the more intimidated we became.

Though we managed to carry out the requisite water test with relative ease, cooking with the fancy pot was another matter altogether, and for several days, we didn’t. We simply tiptoed around it like two skittish kittens eyeballing a sleeping St. Bernard.

But once we worked up the courage to use it, we were thrilled with the results, and learning more about The Best Pot Ever became an obsession. We scoured food magazines, shopped for cookbooks, browsed recipe websites, and asked similarly-potted friends for advice.

And as a regular Facebooker, I naturally turned to social media, joining several groups for sharing tips and recipes, posting photos of my new cooking pot in action, and generally crowing about its attributes. But that’s when my reputation nearly went to pot.

“I see on Facebook that you’re a pothead,” said a friend – at church, of all places.

“A WHAT?” I stammered, fearing a hacker had invaded my page and was sharing posts about some non-existent patch of weed in my backyard and imaginary pot parties disguised as ladies’ meetings in my living room.

“A pothead. Somebody with one of those newfangled pots,” he explained.

Since I dared not tell a lie in church, there was nothing I could do but admit it.

“Yeah, I guess you’re right,” I said, warily. Then figuring I might as well be totally honest, I further confessed: “And I inhale.”

Now if that doesn’t give the busybodies at church something to chew on, I don’t know what will. Unless it’s Cheeseburger Surprise cooked in this pothead’s new pot. Everybody knows how much we Baptists like our casseroles.


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