Instant Pot, Instant Failure

instant pot

The Instant Pot I received for Christmas this past year sat for a few months before I even thought about using it. My wife would remind me frequently we had it and that I should try it (I do all the cooking in the house. She does all the laundry. Fair trade-off). When she would encourage me to use our new cooking gadget, I looked at her and our Instant Pot with a little disdain. I felt my cooking was pretty good, and besides I already had my go to Pioneer Woman dinners that couldn’t be beat. So I was always a bit insulted when the Instant Pot was referenced in my house, as I felt not only was my cooking being insulted but so was the Pioneer Woman herself, Ree Drummond.

Then one night in late January it all started to change. I came home late from work to find my wife using the Instant Pot! I have to admit, the meal she cooked was pretty good, but secretively I was a little upset. I was not about to let her one-up me with the use of the Instant Pot, so I began searching for and trying out some recipes for it. I tried some baby back ribs, some roasts, some chicken and all were a complete disaster. I ruined the dinners and meat altogether and was disgusted with the Instant Pot, my dinners, and more than anything, myself. So I went back to my Pioneer Woman dinners.

Yet there was still that part of me that would not let me be one-upped by my wife and the Instant Pot itself. So I started reading the instruction manual more carefully and watching a few YouTube videos to find out where I was going wrong. It turned out that I was not letting the Instant Pot preheat enough for its timer to begin properly. I was using my own, separate timer. I didn’t understand the preheating process enough or at all really, which lead to instant failures for my dinners. But once I figured out why I was failing, I started making some pretty terrific Instant Pot meals. My favorite so far has been the gumbo. Not too spicy, not too dull. And in the words of Mr. Food, “It’s umm so good.”

I look at my learning experiences/failures with the Instant Pot in a very similar way of being faced with something new in the classroom. At first, I might feel a little insulted, then when others begin and start to have some success, I feel some pressure not to be one-upped. So I try the new tool or technique out and it’s pretty rough. Lessons don’t go so well. So I go back to what has worked all along. But when I am honest with myself, I know those I’m “serving” want something new, even though they like my old stuff, they also want a little taste of something new. So because of them and my own desire to master that new tool or technique, I start to learn more about it and try it again until I have success.

This was the case for me recently. Being a Google for Education Certified Trainer, I use G Suite tools for so many lessons. Yet, I still have to keep an open mind to the fact that there are other tools out there that are worthy teaching tools. For example, ClassFlow. I tried out ClassFlow a few weeks ago in a 6th grade classroom, and like my first time with the Instant Pot, I had instant failure. The lesson did not go as planned at all. The second class went a little better, but I still wasn’t really sold on ClassFlow. Until that is, I went back and started reading and watching more videos about it, as well as asking questions to their tech support (which is outstanding by the way).

Now I am a believer in ClassFlow, just like I am the Instant Pot. And just like I’m not going to give up on the Pioneer Woman’s recipes for my dinners, I’m not going to give up on my G Suite tools. But I am going to throw in a few more Instant Pot dinners and a few more ClassFlow lessons, because we all need a little change now and then. And if I embrace changes, the changes can propel me forward in my cooking and career.

My Favorite Instant Pot Recipes:

The Instant Pot I received for Christmas this past year sat for a few months before I even thought about using it. My wife would remind me frequently we had it and that I should try it (I do all the cooking in the house. She does all the laundry. Fair trade-off). When she would encourage me to use our new cooking gadget, I looked at her and our Instant Pot with a little disdain. I felt my cooking was pretty good, and besides I already had my go to Pioneer Woman dinners that couldn’t be beat. So I was always a bit insulted when the Instant Pot was referenced in my house, as I felt not only was my cooking being insulted but so was the Pioneer Woman herself, Ree Drummond.

Then one night in late January it all started to change. I came home late from work to find my wife using the Instant Pot! I have to admit, the meal she cooked was pretty good, but secretively I was a little upset. I was not about to let her one-up me with the use of the Instant Pot, so I began searching for and trying out some recipes for it. I tried some baby back ribs, some roasts, some chicken and all were a complete disaster. I ruined the dinners and meat altogether and was disgusted with the Instant Pot, my dinners, and more than anything, myself. So I went back to my Pioneer Woman dinners.

Yet there was still that part of me that would not let me be one-upped by my wife and the Instant Pot itself. So I started reading the instruction manual more carefully and watching a few YouTube videos to find out where I was going wrong. It turned out that I was not letting the Instant Pot preheat enough for the its timer to begin properly. I was using my own, separate timer. I didn’t understand the preheating process enough or at all really, which lead to instant failures for my dinners. But once I figured out why I was failing, I started making some pretty terrific Instant Pot meals. My favorite so far has been the gumbo. Not too spicy, not too dull. And in the words of Mr. Food, “It’s umm so good.”

I look at my learning experiences/failures with the Instant Pot in a very similar way of being faced with something new in the classroom. At first, I might feel a little insulted, then when others begin and start to have some success, I feel some pressure not to be one-upped. So I try the new tool or technique out and it’s pretty rough. Lessons don’t go so well. So I go back to what has worked all along. But when I am honest with myself, I know those I’m “serving” want something new, even though they like my old stuff, they also want a little taste of something new. So because of them and my own desire to master that new tool or technique, I start to learn more about it and try it again until I have success.

This was the case for me recently. Being a Google for Education Certified Trainer, I use G Suite tools for so many lessons. Yet, I still have to keep an open mind to the fact that there are other tools out there that are worthy teaching tools. For example, ClassFlow. I tried out ClassFlow a few weeks ago in a 6th grade classroom, and like my first time with the Instant Pot, I had instant failure. The lesson did not go as planned at all. The second class went a little better, but I still wasn’t really sold on ClassFlow. Until that is, I went back and started reading and watching more videos about it, as well as asking questions to their tech support (which is outstanding by the way).

Now I am a believer in ClassFlow, just like I am the Instant Pot. And just like I’m not going to give up on the Pioneer Woman’s recipes for my dinners, I’m not going to give up on my G Suite tools. But I am going to throw in a few more Instant Pot dinners and a few more ClassFlow lessons, because we all need a little change now and then. And if I embrace changes, the changes can propel me forward in my cooking and career.

My Favorite Instant Pot Recipes:

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