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13 January 2017

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Erin

I'd be very interested to hear your thoughts on the instant pot. Is it worth it? I'm a minimalist when it comes to kitchen appliances/gadgets, but this one has me intrigued. I've got 5 weeks maternity leave left, and then I return to work full-time with two little ones at home. Maybe I'm optimistic, but I feel like the instant pot could be helpful on those days when I don't get the crockpot going before I leave in the morning.

bearing

Erin,

I am just starting to learn how to work the thing. Don't laugh, but I've never really cooked with a pressure cooker before. So far nothing that I've made has been super quick, because even if the cook time is only 30 min under pressure, it still takes time for the thing to heat up -- time I haven't gotten comfortable enough with to predict. Part of it is surely that I'm putting the food and liquid in cold; you can save time by adding it preheated, but I haven't had to save time with it yet.

It definitely speeds up beans and chicken stock. I haven't made anything yet that takes under 30 minutes, but that kind of thing may be in my future.

I do like having what is essentially a soup pot that plugs in and thus doesn't have to be located on the stove.

Jenny

My lunches: pb&j sandwiches, refried beans & cheese in tortillas, occasionally ham or turkey sandwiches or wraps, very rarely dinner leftovers or scrambled eggs or mac & cheese. Sides: fruit (always, always fruit) and plain tortilla chips or pretzels. Drink: water. Dishes? Paper towels!

I make the lunches every day (kids are 10, 10, 8, 7, 3, 1, baby due in June). Kids help at lunchtime (someone fills waters, someone distributes chips), but to make things move quickly, I make the main course.

I don't usually do dinner leftovers because I almost always plan dinners to be two-night affairs, so unless it's something that only lasts one night (like homemade fried rice) with not-enough-for-another-dinner left over, dinners are off limits.

I like to do meatless lunches if we're having meat for supper (which we do maybe half the time), which means we don't do much deli-meat sandwiches.

Everyone eats together, usually at the table, though often enough outside in good weather (though not often on school days, as outdoor eating increases time and messiness).

After lunch (which I try to keep to 30 minutes, though my kids like to chat and linger at the table... one source of frustration for me), it's time for me to nurse the 1-year-old down for nap. Kids have to be quiet out front while I do that; then I come out to do "naptime" school with big kids (quiet stuff like reading history, or working on writing; things that are annoying to have interrupted by a 1-year-old) while whoever's not with me helps keep the almost-4-year-old (who is learning to do without a nap) quiet and happy.

Karen Edmisten

This post makes me *want* to cook more good stuff for lunch, but the reality is that I probably won't. :) Lunch is always kind of grab-and-go food for us (even when we're not going anywhere), or kind of a graze-y thing (or leftover. Often leftovers.) If I had to feed a group on a regular basis, though? I love these ideas. And now I'm hungry for chicken soup.

Jenny

I'm reading Grace this post and she pretty much wants to move to your house and be one of your kids. The warm lunches, the schedule, the co-school. :) (She a structure-loving girl who wants soup for lunch everyday, but alas, must make due with a can most of the time.)

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I think I read something somewhere about this

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