This article, Tips from The Guardian on using a pressure cooker, discusses the fear of using a pressure cooker. Here, in Bhutan, pressure cookers are used daily. Because we are at a high altitude, the boiling point of water is lower. To cook potatoes would take forever. Nearly. Meat is often cooked in a pressure cooker too. In fact, the stove is not turned down once the steam has built up. No. The valve lets off steam. Things die down for a few minutes. Then the valve blows again. The number of "whistles" is used to time the cooking. As you walk along streets, you hear all the pressure cookers hissing.
Dad cooked corned beef in the pressure cooker. It happened fairly regularly. It did seem rather dramatic to us kids. When Mum used it, she usually managed to catch the thing before it blew. Not Dad. Every time we had corned beef there was a hiss and a roar. He was probably watching cricket on TV, or sitting reading the paper ... on the toilet ...with the door open. The corned beef was always a treat though. Once it was not corned beef. Dad had found a real deal, probably way across the other side of town. I cannot remember what he bought, but it was rather strange.
Ah, five whistles. The rice must be ready for dinner. And breakfast. And lunch.