Fridays With Dale: Defusing and Dad’s Pressure Cooker

Dale Angel


Defusing and Dad’s Pressure Cooker

By Dale Angel


I tie on my apron. Wrestle the latex gloves on. Sit the bleach and antibacterial soap nearby and cautiously slide out the contents from the sack into the sink. I’m ready to open the package of meat.


I’m careful not to let any of the juices splash on the counter and place the knives where they won’t touch anything, this chicken may have at risk history like a time bomb. 


I’m defusing it. Salmonella is not fun.


It looks like it had a hard soft life. The skin is loose and fatty with little muscle to hold it together. Do I really want to make chicken soup? I’ve lost some of my enthusiasm.


You know the words ‘use to be’: grandmother walked out to the hen house, grabbed a chicken, and before it knew what happened, fried chicken was served.


I missed this useful necessary skill.


I also missed others. I watched my mother in law butcher deer as it hung from the pepper tree. Her sharp knives were shared among the family. The process was clean orderly and wrapped. Nothing was wasted.


I’ve been deprived. I have to suit up and buy from disinterested corporations, foreign and domestic, who don’t eat their own products. The constant recalling of contaminated food is a red flag…it’s over my house right now.


My dad always kept a rifle. Near dinner time, he drove off the highway along Sacramento River where the world was moving with pheasant, and the telephone lines were heavy with doves.


He cleaned our dinner. We ate. He liked to use the pressure cooker and added noodles. The quick pressure cooker intrigued him


When he got older he decorated the ceiling with it. It wasn’t pretty. After three times, we took it away from him and replaced it with a microwave.


After he drove me up the sidewalk knocking off the side view mirror, the car stopped with a parking meter under it. He looked at me and said ”That’s what happens when I forget to take my vitamin C.”


We took away his car. He got a motor scooter, and it went into the wall of the grocery store. He got a bicycle and another pressure cooker


The cane made him mad. While he walked across eight lanes of traffic, the light changed. He tried to hurry. Someone drove over his cane.


He went to the drug store, bought a new one, and sprayed it white. All traffic stopped as he leisurely walked across on his way to charge the bank with shady business practices.


I thought about becoming a vegetarian, but I keep remembering about Ben Franklin when he decided to become one. On a trip by sea, the winds quit, the ship stopped, and they floated aimlessly, finally depleting the food supply. The crew begin frying fish and the aroma brought him to his knees. He decided to eat whatever was put in front of him. He said ”It made life easier the rest of my life.”


I have to decide what to do with this defused chicken. I’ll close my eyes and throw it in the pan. On second thought, I’ll put on a pot of black eyed peas in Dad’s old pressure cooker.


Dale Angel



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