The Essence Of Preserved Memories

One of my keenest childhood memories is that of going to my grandmother's house and being greeted at the front door by the heady, aromatic fragrance of her famous chicken soup. Her windows were invariably clouded with a thick film of heavy condensation and from the kitchen a steady rattling could be heard as her hefty, aluminum pressure cooker released hissing bursts of steam, inadvertently alerting small children to keep their distance. I heeded the pot's sibilate warnings and only approached once the all clear was sounded by grandma — typically done with the swift motion of her hand, signaling me to approach so that she could slip me a taste of a soft, sweet carrot, just plucked from the steaming cauldron by her heat-resistant fingers.

When my grandmother passed away, many years later, my relatives swooped in like birds of prey, helping themselves, without restraint, to her jewelry and furniture, vintage clothing and lace doilies. I was living out of state at the time, and when I finally arrived, her apartment had been picked clean. Still, things worked out well for me. My grandmother and I had always shared a strong bond in our love for cooking and when the vultures had pecked their way through her belongings, to my great fortune, they bypassed her old pressure cooker, seeing it only as worthless scrap. For me, however, this timeworn pot was the equivalent of gold watches and fox-collared sweaters, preserving within it's thinning, alloyed walls, the celebrations of new-born grandchildren, jubilant holiday festivities and the mourning of deceased relatives.

I can still remember opening the cavernous pot that day and, after loosening the rubber seal, impulsively plunging my face in and inhaling deeply as if practicingpranayama. The scent of years of cooked onions and celery rushed in and I was immediately transported back to my grandmother's steamy kitchen twenty years previous. I smiled quietly to myself, as tears, equally weighted with intense sadness and nostalgic joy, welled up in my eyes. How lucky I was to have come upon this cast away old pot which offered a tangible remembrance of my grandmother with every breath I took.

Eventually the lingering smells faded from the pot (probably as a result of me breaking open the seal and drinking in the memories as often as I did) and after numerous relocations into seemingly smaller and smaller apartments, that great, silver hissing beast, misshapen with bulging bottom and dinged and dented lid, was decidedly unsafe to use and, sadly, forced to vacate the prime real estate of my diminutive kitchen. In it's place now sits a modern, shiny, stainless steel pressure cooker complete with safety valves and pop-up buttons. What this new one boasts in design and function, it completely lacks in character, but my goal is to spend the next few decades doing my grandmother proud and permeating it's glaring walls with stories and memories, giving it a life all its own.

Check out next week's blog for some of my favorite pressure cooker recipes and useful tips.

Browse Culinary Arts Schools & Colleges

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
            • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
            • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
            • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            3 Program(s) Found
            • Culinary Arts program includes the 3-week Farm To Table® Experience, where students gain a direct, in-depth look at where food comes from.
            • Numerous scholarship opportunities and financial aid are available to students who qualify.
            • Accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), and the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 2 campuses located in Boulder, Colorado and Austin, Texas.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            3 Program(s) Found
            • First opened its doors in 1980 as the Academy of Medical Art and Business.
            • Students can choose from a variety of diploma or degree programs, as well as continuing education courses.
            • Provides programs in massage therapy, dental assisting, criminal justice, cake decorating, and more.
            • 7.5 acre campus is located in the foothills of Blue Mountain, north of Harrisburg, PA.
            • Involved with many community service organizations, including the Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank (CPBB), March of Dimes, and Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Financial Aid
            3 Program(s) Found
            • Has been training students in the culinary arts since 1946.
            • Teaches hands-on culinary training in French, Asian, Mediterranean, Latin and American cooking, along with professional baking and pastry techniques.
            • Helps students gain professional skills in culinary management.
            • Offers an Italian Culinary Arts program where students get to externship in Italy.
            • Its instructors are respected chefs who put their dedication and life experiences into their instruction.
            Show more [+]
            • Financial Aid
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Offers career-focused programs in allied health, business, and computer technology, and more.
            • On-the-job training available through externships, internships, and clinical placements.
            • Graduates in good standing can take refresher sessions in courses at no additional cost.
            • Day and evening class options are available for flexible scheduling.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid