Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Grace Under Pressure

India Sketch Journal 2013 Aug 12 by Meera Rao 

Speedy delivery by motorcycle of various things is nothing out of the ordinary  in India. I came upon this fellow with bags of flowers hanging off the motorcycle handle bars. The motorcycles weave through the heavy traffic and guarantee dropping off  of parcels faster than in a car or van! I saw his bike with flowers parked by the road and started taking a few pics when he returned from his delivery and posed for me for a quick second. He did have an helmet which he wore soon after and then drove off to the next stop. 

India Sketch Journal 2013 Aug 13 by Meera Rao 

Some days I have time only for a simple sketch -- but then, here it is the trusty pressure cooker - the most important equipment in a household in India! I used one everyday  for cooking - it is an art and a science to master!  At least three pots are stacked inside each cooker with dal/lentil/bean in one, rice in the second and a vegetable or two in the third :) This  saves time, cooking gas (which is very expensive) and is super efficient.  These come in many brands, sizes  and varieties. I had to constantly consult my Mom and sisters-in-law over the phone on the finer points of using a pressure cooker - so I would not end up with either mush or under-cooked food! I really appreciated the cooker when I could not use it for a day - somehow I had miscalculated the amount of water/time needed and the valve blew due to lack of liquid.  But no worries, just down the street, in a tiny tiny shop, it was fixed in no time at all :) 

Here is a short history lesson on pressure cooker :" In 1679, the French mathematician and physicist Denis Papin invented the first pressure cooker or steam digester as he called it. The story is whilst he was presenting his new steam digester to the Royal Society it exploded, leading him to invent the safety valve. Three years later he represented it to the Royal society and gained positive reviews.
The pressure cooker title was first seen in print in 1915. In 1927, the first pressure cookers were sold in Germany and in 1939 the world’s first commercial pressure cooker made by National Presto Industries was exhibited at the New York World’s Fair.
In these early days, there are accounts of people thinking pressure cookers were the results of witchcraft because of their continued hissing."

In my home in US I now have a electric pressure cooker with a timer which I absolutely love, along with a much used stove top cooker that I have had for over three decades. 

India Sketch Journal 2013 Page34 by Meera Rao 


Introverted Art said...

love your sketch Meera. So colorful and beautiful!

Meera Rao said...

@IntrovertedArt, Thank you very much! India is so colorful sometimes I have to tone it down for the paper :)

Jane said...

Great sketching, colorful and interesting. I used to use the pressure cooker when I lived in Paris, very good for making cous-cous , but here in Italy I don't have it, and it is not of common use:-)

padmaja said...

Love the flowers guy, the standard of living has increased and a guy who wants to take his cow for grazing goes on his bike behind!
Have you seen the colored cookers from prestige? Beautiful to use and looks great on my kitchen counter!

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