I am afraid of my pressure cooker

true confessions about my pressure cooker from thishappymom.com
Don’t tell my husband, but I am afraid of my pressure cooker.

In the late seventies/early eighties, there was this cream banana pie recipe.  You would boil a can of sweetened condenced evaported milk (Eagle Brand) in water.  You didn’t open the can in advance.  So, the can created a mini-pressure cooker.  In theory, it caramelized the milk.

(To assemble the pie, just dice up bananas to fill the pre-cooked pie shell, then pour the caramelized milk on top.  Top with cool whip.  Yum.) If you want to make it, this recipe for banofee pie looks safe.

We’d made the pie several times and loved it.  Everything worked great as long as I remembered to keep water in the pan with the can in it.  That kept the temperature at just the right point.

But, I was in 9th grade and there was this… boy.

I kind of left the can on the stove unattended for several hours and let the pot boil dry.

(The boy was really cute, and I was… um… busy….  OK, I was flirting outrageously out on the front porch.)

When the pot boiled dry, the heat went up.  And… poof, it exploded.

My miniature pressure cooker filled with too much pressure and it exploded.

Luckily, no one was home at the time.  I walked in to an empty house to smell something funky.  I immediately turned off the stove (the pan was kinda red hot, it kind of seperated the stainless steel layers of a farberware pan).

I was standing there freaked out when my BFF arrived. She immediately noticed the lovely brown splotches all over the white ceiling of the kitchen.

OMW! Susan… What is your mom going to say?

I grabbed a chair and started scraping.

OMW! Susan… What is your mom going to say?  You are in so much trouble!

My mom was due home in 30 minutes, and all I could think of was scraping off all the caramel.


My friend was still standing there open mouthed in the middle of my kitchen… staring.  She was NOT.HELPING.

OMW.  Whatareyougonnado?  Whatareyougonnado?

If I could get the caramel off, then my mom wouldn’t have to know about that boy…. (Yeah right – there was no way I could hide the pan.  But I wasn’t exactly thinking clearly).

OMW.  You are FERSHURE gonna be grounded.

It was the eighties.  I had caramel crumbs in my big hair by then.  I was totally TERTALLY freaking out.  I wanted my friend to help me.

OMW.  What is your mom going to say!

My grandmother showed up.  She took one look at the problem, grabbed a chair, and started scraping.  My friend…

OMW.  You are in soooooooooo much trouble.

My mom got home.  She stood there, in shock.

OMW.  Your mom’s home now.  You are gonna get it….!

My mom gently escorted my friend outside (much to my relief).  Then she looked at the pie crust I had blind baked earlier in the day.

You know how you poke a pie crust with a fork to keep it from puffing up while baking?  Well, I had used the fork to very carefully create a heart shape.  I had also written the boy’s name in fork-prints.

The pie crust read “I <3 Tom.”

You know the part of a movie where you don’t really see what happened next, you just know it was bad?  Mentally, insert one of those scenes here.  It was bad.  

Two days later, I was still scraping the ceiling.  I spent the rest of the summer cleaning the kitchen.  There was caramel on the ceiling, walls, cabinets, counters, and floor.

Four years later, when we repainted the kitchen ceiling, we found new blobs of caramel.   I had the honor of doing all the cut-in around the room with a small brush, just in case I had forgotten about the “pie incident.”

Five years after that (almost 10 years after the original incident), when mom changed wallpaper, we found yet more blobs of caramel.  Obviously, that stuff had spewed EVERYWHERE.

If someone had been in the kitchen when the can exploded, I can’t imagine the damage.  Sugar burns are notoriously bad.  Even now (over 30 summers later), it still gives me chills.

I saw the damage a small can caused when it over pressured.  I can not imagine what would happen if an actual pressure cooker exploded.  I’m terrified of those things!

I saw the episode on Myth-Busters where the hot water heater exploded.  It didn’t give me comfort.    I’m scared for life.

Anyone else want to confess?  Is there a kitchen implement that scares you?

Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

Latest posts by Susan Baker (see all)


  1. Hahaha; this is such a cute story! I love my electric pressure cooker because it has auto shut off features…but the giant, expensive beautiful mixer tends to give me a you-are-not-worthy-of-baking-with-me kind of look!

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge
Social Share Buttons and Icons powered by Ultimatelysocial
Copy Protected by Chetan's WP-Copyprotect.
%d bloggers like this: