By Samantha Labriola of Mother Haggard
A disappointed woman is speaking out after purchasing an Instant Pot and having her life remain virtually the same.
“I was going to start yoga. Or try that whole self-care thing. I thought I’d have so much free time now that I have an Instant Pot,” Tracy Simmons states. “But everything is pretty much exactly the same as before. I just have less counter space.”
Simmons, a 34-year-old mother of two, first learned of the Instant Pot when she saw a Buzzfeed article listing 4,000 ways the Instant Pot is the greatest creation ever known to mankind. Then her co-worker bought one, followed by a friend in her local mom group. Her sister-in-law next joined the club. A girl she hated from high school started a moderately successful Instant Pot cooking blog.
Soon almost everyone she knew owned an Instant Pot and was making 4-Minute Creamy Mac and Cheese, and the reviews were universal: This kitchen device would change your life.
“And I just thought, wow, that sounds pretty good,” Simmons reflects. “My life’s not BAD, you know, but it could be better. I don’t love my job. I can’t lose my C-section gut. We’ve been potty training for two years now. My favorite pair of leggings has been discontinued and a hole is starting to form in the inner thighs.”
At this, Simmons’s voice breaks. She takes a deep breath and gains composure. “Sorry, I just really love those pants.”
“Anyway, yeah, the Instant Pot. I finally caved and bought one. I found a recipe for 15-Minute Taco Soup that thirty different people had forwarded to me. I plugged in the machine and poured myself a glass of wine. Thought maybe I’d try to fit in a quick bath while the soup was cooking.”
She leans in and confides, “It took me ten minutes just to figure out how to put the lid on correctly. That’s when I started to get a bad feeling.” Simmons quickly grew overwhelmed.
“I had to stop cooking FIVE different times so I could watch tutorials on YouTube,” Simmons recalls, a touch of bitterness seeping into her voice. “Like, what the hell’s a high pressure five minute release? Or a natural release? Why isn’t the timer working? Where’s the “Manual” button? And while I was trying to figure out what the floating valve was, my two-year-old got into the dog food again.” She begins to massage her temples in slow, rhythmic circles.
“And the thing is,” she whispers, “no one tells you that you have to wait for the pot to come to pressure before it can even cook. It took twenty minutes just for that! The whole damn recipe was supposed to take 15 minutes. No one tells you that,” she repeats, her voice steadily escalating in volume until it reaches a shrill shriek.
Requesting a moment, Simmons briefly leaves the room. She returns carrying a large bar of dark chocolate.
“Sorry about that. Anyway, after four hours, the 15-Minute Taco Soup was ready. The kids didn’t like it, even though I served it in the Elmo bowls with the blue spoons. I had already eaten some cereal and eight cookies while making dinner, so I wasn’t really hungry. My husband said he liked it, but he kept adding more cheese to it.
“I haven’t really talked to anyone about this,” Simmons continues, taking a large bite of chocolate, seemingly unaware that she has neglected to unwrap it and is currently eating shiny foil. “I tried to reach out to a few friends, but they just kept telling me how I could make yogurt in my Instant Pot in eight hours. YOGURT. I haven’t showered in three days, and they want me to make yogurt. Besides, my kids only like the Paw Patrol yogurt.”
Simmons sighs, and gazes into the distance, ignoring her toddler’s call from the living room of, “Mama! I go pee-pee on floor now!”
“I guess I just thought things would be different once I started making 20-minute butternut squash risotto,” she reflects. “But I’ve heard good things about the air fryer. I might try that next.”
With this, she gives a small, wistful smile and, grabbing a roll of paper towels and a bottle of disinfectant, leaves the room. Her Instant Pot remains on the counter, currently storing kitchen utensils.
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