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From: Elote (
Subject: Hi, my name is Flo, ... (long)
Date: April 9, 2003 at 1:31 am PST

and I.... (I'll omit some of the details.)

I thought that I'd introduce myself. I checked out this board right after it was formed, then got distracted by school work, travel and other such things, and just found my way back.

Many of you know me from the VegSource McDougall boards. Yes, I'm also Flo, the (more or less) moderator of the McDougall Friends board. When the members of that board adopted "fruit and nut" names I chose Elote. I now try to reserve "Flo" for when I'm speaking as moderator.

I grew up assuming everyone used a pressure cooker. My mom was a single parent, working 2 or 3 jobs at a time. She grew up during the Depression and was an adult during WWII, and developed a strong ethic for minimizing waste and conserving food value and fuel. PC's are ideal for those goals.

When I left the nest in 1973 I took my grandmother's Presto with me, identical to the one I grew up using. I still have it, along with a Mirro I received as a gift about six years ago, and the three Fagors I bought two years ago.

I wasn't actually in the market, but had been considering getting a S/S, second generation, when I saw the 2 pan set, 4qt/7qt, with a pressure lid, a glass lid, a cookbook and a steamer basket, marked down 50% -- $65 for both. How I could I pass that up?

I absolutely loved the stainless steel and the second generation controls. I discovered, however, that I couldn't lift the 7 qt., and lift the 4 qt with difficulty. Also, I cook for one, and 4 qts is a lot, even if I like something. I bought my 2.5 qt Fagor pressure skillet a short time later, and it was a marriage made in heaven. (Hmmm, maybe that's why I'm single? I get all excited about second generation pressure cookers and electronic toys. I'm a retired software geek.)

About storage...after living with all three pcs on the stovetop for a while, I emptied the cupboard just to the left of my stove. On the bottom shelf the 7 qt lives in the back, with a basket in front for onions and potatoes. On the top shelf the 4 qt lives in back with the 2.5 qt in front. This is a standard base unit...single width, about 14", normal depth. The PCs that I use are within arm's reach, and the onions are right there, as well. If I'm using the 4 qt I'm probably also using the 2.5 qt, so there's no extra work. My stovetop is clear again.

As I mentioned in another post, I have five Lorna Sass cookbooks:

  • Cooking Under Pressure, 1989
  • Lorna Sass' Complete Vegetarian Kitchen (Recipes from an Ecological Kitchen) 1992
  • Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure, 1994
  • Lorna Sass' Short-Cut Vegetarian, 1997
  • The Pressured Cook, 1999.

I use them all, but I use Great Vegetarian... and Short-Cut the most.

I could not entertain without the risotto technique. A big salad, prepared in advance, crusty bread fresh from my bread machine and one or two risottos, and the compliments just don't stop, even from confirmed carnivores. Sometimes I add one of her pudding cakes, cooked earlier in the day, but it's usually superfluous.

I live with the after-effects of a serious car accident, and this menu lets me complete all but 10 minutes of the preparation well in advance. I can then be fresh and relaxed with my guests. (Or, if my plans for advance preparation go astray, it's easy enough to delegate salad making and veggie chopping to the guests, and still put a stunning meal on the table after a brief time of visiting together in my open kitchen/dining area while we work.)

My favorite recipes for this are Lemon-Scented Asparagus Risotto, perfect now when asparagus is $.99 per pound, and Risotto du Jour. This last is my adaptation of Saffron Risotto with Vegetables du Jour. [In my house you have to be a very good friend to merit saffron.]

I take other liberties with it, as well. I like carrots. I really like carrots. I eat them in soups, salads, main dishes, snacks and desserts. I couldn't possibly serve a meal without carrots. My Risotto du Jour always includes carrots, cut in half-moons, about 1/4" thick, added after the broth and cooked under pressure with the rice. I usually add chopped broccoli after the rice is cooked, steamed just until the color changes to bright green.

I'm wandering.

I started out writing this introduction because I was feeling defensive. Those of you who know me know that I am bright, educated, articulate, witty, and humble. Or some subset of those, LOL! I'm currently experiencing both cognitive impairment and neurological problems, however, and my ability to think and express myself, much less get the intended result into the computer accurately, are impaired. This has been showing in some of my messages, especially when Back isn't working, as it isn't again tonight. Most of the time it doesn't bother me, but sometimes.... Sigh. I hate having the evidence captured forever in the archives.

Lately it has been taking me so long to compose and edit messages and email that sometimes my connection times out and I lose everything. C'est la vie!

Anyway, my goal in having posted all of this is that I will now feel less constrained to have everything as I would like it, and will be able just to post and enjoy myself, trusting you to figure out what I meant.



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