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.

Featured Culinary Schools

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
5 Program(s) Found
Le Cordon Bleu Schools of North America , Online (campus option available)
  • Its first location, in Paris, officially opened its doors as a culinary school in 1895.
  • Teaches students by having them spend significant time in the kitchen practicing precision techniques.
  • Provide hands-on training from instructors who are certified, master chefs.
  • Offer flexible schedules and online programs.
  • Has 30 schools worldwide, spanning 5 continents, including 17 campuses in the U.S.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
  • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
  • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
  • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
  • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • Offers more than 150 self-paced, career-relevant programs that are connected to a supportive 24/7 online community of students and faculty.
  • Profiled in many publications such as The Boston Globe, Fox Business, and  Inside Higher Ed.
  • Nearly 25,000 graduates each year.
  • Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
  • Founded in 1890 in Scranton, Pennsylvania    
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
3 Program(s) Found
  • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
  • Offers several scholarship and financial aid opportunities for students who qualify.
  • California campuses accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and accreditation for the Salem campus from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
  • 4 Campuses located in Clovis, Modesto, and Redding in California, and Salem, Oregon.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

NCP is a California State approved College of Nursing that serves the San Francisco Bay Area. Our nursing programs are attended by many students from nearby of San Francisco, Daly City, San Bruno, Pacifica, Millbrae, Brisbane, San Mateo, Burlingame, Hayward, San Leandro, Oakland, Emeryville, Berkeley, Castro Valley, Union City, Fremont, Concord and San Jose.

  • Founded in Southern California in 1998 by dog training expert Steven Appelbaum.
  • The largest independent dog training company in the United States.
  • Offers 11-stage programs that feature an in-home study component along with a hands-on training module.
  • A member of the MyCAA Financial Assistance program, which offers eligible military spouses up to $4,000 of tuition assistance that can be used towards any of their courses.
  • Helps graduates find employment and coaches those who are looking to start their own business.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Ranked 33rd among the Best Grad Schools for Social Work in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Founded in 1904 as the nation’s first institute of higher learning to offer training for clinical social workers.
  • Provides a rigorous education, including a nationally accredited Master of Social Work (MSW) Program and PhD in Social Work.  
  • Offers inventive programs with hands-on experience.  
  • Incorporates social justice values and multicultural perspectives into curriculum. 
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Ranked 25th among the Best National Universities in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • One of the world’s leading private research universities.
  • Its student-faculty ratio is 9:1, and 56.8% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • Has an average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, of 96.8 percent.
  • Dedicated to a strong tradition of integrating liberal and professional education since 1880.
  • Its faculty includes National Academy members, Nobel Laureates, MacArthur Fellows, and more.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Ranked among the Best National Universities in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Designated as a 2014 Military Friendly School by Victory Media.
  • Houses one of the largest library systems in the Pacific Northwest, with 3 libraries on the Pullman campus and a library at each regional campus.
  • Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
  • Has 5 Washington campuses in Pullman, Spokane, Tri-Cities, Vancouver, and Everett.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Ranked #11 in the 2015 Best Graduate Schools in Social Work by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Offers more specialization opportunities than any other social work program, with 10 concentrations and sub-concentrations and 8 dual-degree programs.
  • The first elite researching university to offer a Master of Social Work degree online.
  • Has 4,000 field internship opportunities that give students real-world experience.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Students can complete an entry-level technician program in about a year, and manufacturer training and graduate in as little as 18 months.
  • Provides technical education training programs for automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle, and marine technicians.
  • Partners with many well-known manufacturers, including General Motors, Porsche Cars North America Inc., and BMW of North America LLC.
  • Offers internships to students and alumni for first-hand experience.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
Show more [+]
  • Financial Aid
  • Dedicated to providing a hands-on, career-focused education since 1953.
  • Offers classes online, as well as at 14 campuses across California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois and Virginia.
  • Develops curriculum with input from employers, subject matter experts.
  • Has small class sizes to promote one-on-one, student-teacher interaction.
  • Makes no-cost tutoring available in every subject to every enrolled student.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Founded in 1963 by Philip J. Steele, a well-known illustrator and educator who wanted to develop a training program based on the traditional method of drawing and painting that dates back to the Renaissance.
  • Offers 16 degree and certificate programs, including commercial photography, fashion design, animation, graphic design, and game art.
  • Features a unique Visiting Artist, Scholar, and Designer (VASD) program, where students engage with elite figures in the art world through private events, studio visit, lectures, and workshops.
  • Offers several scholarship opportunities and other financial aid for students who qualify.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Has students attend one four-week class at a time and take their final exam before moving on to their next class.
  • Offers 24/7 online tech support, with a typical response time of 4 hours or less.
  • Has online help centers that offer assistance with writing, statistics, medical assisting, and more.
  • Provides job placement assistance to all its students and alumni.
  • Researches trends for growing fields to tailor a more effective curriculum.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits