obsession under pressure

Just call me Theo Huxtable. I think he was the one who never finished what he started, moving from guitar lessons to tennis to some other obsession. I get this. I get it for free. It comes with my personality. I might be passionate, but I’m also fickle. I get wrapped up in want, to the point where all my energy is directed at that one "must" whether it’s wanting to decorate our mantle, needing mesquite flour to try a new chocolate chip cookie recipe, or wanting to learn the art of "cryovacking" or sous vide (meaning, under vacuum). I once had a peach at one of Thomas Keller’s restaurants that was the consistency of flan. I MUST recreate this. I want to turn watermelon into the texture of meat. I NEED to learn this. It’s incredible, this pressure cooking, vacuum packing of foods infused with marinades. Thomas Keller has a new book out on it, and I MUST HAVE IT! There’s always something. I don’t feel I’m really able to rest fully until I KNOW that something is taken care of. It’s to the point, sometimes, where I love my well-stocked pantry to the point where I don’t want to use anything in it because that would make it, once again, incomplete. I just love knowing that it’s all there, at the ready.

It’s why I’m now obsessed with having the following items: The $399 eiPot, which I cannot find anywhere yet. And a rice cooker with Sous Vide Magic. And I’m in the market for a panini press, rice cooker, slow cooker, and pressure cooker. I want to hold out for the eiPot. They say its release is this month, but I cannot find information about it anywhere aside from a few articles saying that it’s coming out in November, dammit.




  1. I just read the customer reviews and it sounds like something I would buy that would end up gathering dust on a shelf because I wouldn't be able to afford all the crap you need to buy to produce the author's results. But that's just me…

    FROM SK: But there are attachments for a rice cooker that are under $100. I am holding out for this eiPot… if I can ever find it.

  2. I guess that makes me a "Theo" too. I get real hot about some idea, project, hobby or plan until I burn myself out. Sometimes I finish the project and sometimes my passion and enthusiasm out runs me by a mile, and I'm no runner.

    That was one of the plans I bailed on.

  3. What da fug is that? :P
    A crockpot? 400 bucks to spend more time in the kitchen? Never! But I do hope you find it.

  4. I have a great rice cooker from Pampered Chef. And no, I am not a pampered chef sales rep!

    The cooker is amazing – 10 mins in the microwave for 1 cup (uncooked) rice.

  5. Obsessive yet fickle sadly is a perfect description of me. Depending on the weather, amount of sleep and the marketing of a product is all it takes for me to fall into a full-blown "must have" or "make" obsession. My most recent is sewing. I am going to attempt my first quilt for a friend and to make it easy (harder) I picked a pretty complex pattern from Amy Butler's website. So, first things first I have to buy a sewing machine.
    Wish me luck and in return I wish you luck although I have a feeling you will do just fine:)

  6. A closetful of identical red blazers? Reddened king crab legs? Liverfest 2009? A barbershop quartet uniform supply shop? All these possible obsession/cravings occurred to me upon viewing the dark square with red things on it. I clicked it and still have no clue what those red things are. But I don't think I want one, thank you.

  7. this sounds like me. i'm glad im not the only one. as they say, you've got to learn to pace yourself. you have to have the same enthusiasm going out as you do coming in or else you'll be doomed.

  8. Be careful cooking fish and meat sous vide – apparently the temperature for home cooks and smaller kitchens does not get hot enough to kill a lot of bacteria and many city health departments are stopping restaurants without the proper equipment from serving sous vide food. Not Keller's kitchens of course, but I have read a lot about this recently.

  9. Oh, to have the cabinet space for all these things. Right now my cuisinart and kitchenaid are duking it out with the coffee grinder (which I totally argued with my husband against getting because… we don't have the cabinet space) and any time I want one of them it's like doing one of those awful moving tile puzzles or parallel parking or something else involving spatial relations that I suck at. (The rice cooker/steamer is surprisingly space efficient and takes up less room than my spaghetti pot). Some day I will leave NY and have lots of cabinets, counter space and a shiny espresso machine.

  10. My mom used to swear by her pressure cooker. I have one that I haven't used in ages. If you were in Dallas, I would give it to you. ;-)

  11. Ooooh, have you read the post about it over at Michael Ruhlman's blog? Complete with pictures of watermelon tartar with mango yolk, food porn. I'm dying for an immersion circulator, but I can't justify the purchase to myself. Yet.

  12. Oh jesus. I don't need this. I really don't. I'm the same way. I find out about something, it piques my interest and I am literally OBSESSED with it until it is mine. I'm a girl that hardly bakes and has no counter space, but just bought a KitchenAid mixer because it comes in my favorite color. I have a damn cotton candy maker I used once. A deep fat fryer because I wanted to make homemade corn dogs one time. Right now I'm obsessed with putting sea salt on cookies, so at least I'm getting use out of the mixer. Fortunately, I have a boyfriend that enjoys the manipulation/bartering process it takes for me to collect all of my treasures.

  13. I remember back during the dot com boom when putting "e" in front of your noun or verb was the cool thing to do. Not long after, of course, Apple decided that "e" was passé and switched to "i". But I never in my life thought we'd end up with an unholy union of the two.

    The eiPot? Seriously? e-i-e-i-oh my!

  14. I turn all Theo Huxtable when I try to lose the same 15 lbs. over and over again, but then I sabotage myself by going elbow deep into a box of Mallomars to get me through winter. Damn that comfort food!

    Azizeh — I feel you on the sea salt/cookie thing. It sounded nasty at first, but after trying one I quickly changed my mind. The whole sweet/salty thing comes in handy once a month if you know what I mean :) I live in Philadelphia, and there's a place called Metropolitan Bakery who makes THE best Chocolate Chip and Cherry Cookies sprinkled with sea salt. Here's the recipe if anyone is interested:

  15. A good basic rice cooker is all you need, nothing fancy schmancy. Same with a crockpot, although the newer ones cook much hotter than those avacado green ones used back in the 70's and 80's.

    A pressure cooker is divine! I taught myself how to use one (a Fagor) a little over a year ago and it's wonderful, although there is something to be said for slow and steady in the Dutch oven. Stay away from the electric PCs; they have a tendency to break over time.

    Don't take me into Williams and Sonoma!

  16. Hi Stephanie,

    I'm a long-time reader. I enjoy your writing immensely. I rarely comment, but I've been thinking lately that when I check-in to see how you, Phil, and the taters are doing, I'm somewhat taken aback by the blatant consumption you tend to advertise with lists of "things you want." I know this is your blog and you're certainly justified in posting whatever you want, but I also think as of late, it's a little…insensitive to to write about your desire for expensive cookware, bracelets, and handbags, when so many people are concerned about simply making ends meet in today's recession-world. No lie–I love looking at your favorite products, but sometimes, I feel a little icky when right before I visit Greek Tragedy, I look at the main headline of the NY Times Online and see that the stock market dropped another 800 points and the rate of unemlpoyment is at an all time high. It's great to have nice things and want nice things. I just think it would be nice to give a nod to your dedicated readers that you realize we're in the middle of an economic crisis. Maybe a list of great products/gifts under $100, $50, or $25? Ideas for small luxuries? I'm sure you've heard–conspicuous consumption is as out of style as those bootie-heels you detest.

  17. I'm so with you on this one, my husband swears I have a slight case of OCD – once I get something in my mind, I can't let it go – ever. I love kitchen gadgets & small appliances – that's one thing my husband and I actually splurge on – one of the sales ladies at our Williams Sonoma knows us on a first name basis!
    If only I could bring myself to use my pretty cuisinart food processor he bought me LAST year for Christmas – I took it out a few weeks ago, ready to use it & the first thing on the manual "warning may cause death" scared the pants off me. Haven't touched it since.

  18. The book is about cooking food by putting it in a vacuum sealed plastic and submergining it in hot water. I'm guessing the red things are some kind of food sealed in a plastic wrap.

  19. Finally, watching Nick at Nite paid off.

    I think it's Denise Huxtable you're thinking of when it comes to being the kid who never finishes what they start. Denise was constantly changing her mind about what career to pursue. Record executive, fashion designer, teacher, etc.

    Theo was the one who had dyslexia and had a rough time at school, but was able to turn it around and graduated college.

    Hell of a first post, huh? But I really enjoy your site; you're a wonderful writer, Stephanie.

  20. Megan, thank you! I'm going to bookmark this one. Cherries and chocolate can't be bad! Salt and sweet is wonderful. I just tried this recipe and it was raved about. The chocolate paves make the cookies gooey and delicious.

    I have to try this one next, I'm thinking of making 3 different kinds of cookies for my friends this holiday season, and they're all salt fiends too, so this one is definitely a contender after I try it on my own first.

  21. I LOVE my slow cooker. I think I'm the only person I know that is young and consistently cooks but it is just wonderful. I love that I can throw 10 things in it in the morning and have a great meal 8 hours later. I'm not sure why everyone isn't using them! Also great for oatmeal with fruits etc. Enjoy! I will have to look for the eiPot. I just moved to England last year so we're a little slow on product development over here. (And slow cookers are great for dieting bc I'm much less likely to go out to eat or pick something up that isn't that great for me when I know I have something at home.)

  22. I hate that I missed you last night in Atlanta :(
    My mom had surgery at (uffda!) 7am this morning so I wouldn't have been able to make it anyway but I was thinking of you. I hope it went well. Still bummed but I'll get over it. Happy Friday!

  23. Yep, it's fully-cooked rhubarb on the cover, sealed in the sous vide bag. It keeps its color since it's cooked in the pressurized environment without oxygen.

  24. Rhubarb, huh? Whodda thunk? I'm fairly familiar with fresh rhubarb, and in its fresh state, it's not quite so blood red. I guess the process reddens it?

    In its ideal state — baked in a pie with strawberries — rhubarb is a lovely shade of pink. In any case, thoroughly unappetizing book cover.

    FROM SK: I don't understand how people eat rhubarb at all. It's basically just really prissy celery.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.