I’ve always associated pressure cookers with Cuban cooking. I think it was the cha-cha-cha of the old rockers. I also associate them with terror. If we so much as looked towards the kitchen when the cooker was going, we were reminded that it could, and very likely would, explode at any given moment. Perfectly tender carne con papas or terrible domestic catastrophe. Both were on the menu, and in a few minutes we’d know which was coming to the table. That’s why I’m always surprised when family or friends recommend them. Weren’t they scared? After coming across some pressure cooker recipes I wanted to try and being scolded for not having one when I forgot to soak the beans overnight, I decided it was time to buy one. Nothing crazy, just a harmless 4 qt, stainless steel Presto, just to have on hand in an emergency. When I told my mother, she thought it was a great idea having just replaced hers. Maybe they’d exaggerated the dangers when we were little to keep us shoed away? She then went on to list 4-5 vaguely terrifying way it could possibly kill me. Guess I remembered correctly. Still, I think I’m going to start easy – some platanos sancochados or fricaseé de pollo. No sudden movements. You never know when it’s going to blow.