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To Instant Pot, or not to Instant Pot?

Here in the frenzy we are always looking for a way to make our lives a little bit easier. While we may not follow every internet phenomena out there, once it hits somewhere between the level of grumpy cat and covfefe (I'll let you figure out which one is the more predominant), it may actually get through our sleep-deprived attention span.

Somewhere in the cobwebs that occupy the space between my conscious and subconscious mind, I started noticing that there was quite a bit of buzz about something that looked like the love child of a rice cooker and a Crock-Pot. Since you are undoubtedly more aware of the current state of the internet or just your general surroundings than I am, you probably have heard about the Instant Pot for months if not years. When it comes to the internet, I am a relic of a bygone era. I still use Facebook and I've never even installed Snapchat on my phone. Yet still, I catch the trailing wisps of the cultural zeitgeist and maybe there are a few of you out there that occupy a similar level of cultural awareness.

In spite of wanting to make my life easier, I also always am looking for ways we can work up the ingredient list and make things from scratch that any sane person would just buy in the grocery store. No seriously, I saw a grain mill that we could attach to our Kitchen Aid to make our own whole wheat flour and barely resisted the urge to buy it. I mean just try to resist this.

OK, I guess it was only me...

So, one of my recent impulses that should have been ignored experiments has been making yogurt. It has even been relatively (shockingly) successful. And as a bonus there are fewer plastic yogurt containers floating around the house. I could give you a recipe, but my contribution would be more likely to harm the collective knowledge of the internet on yogurt making rather than being helpful. Perhaps somewhere down the road I can document my process so you can avoid some potential pitfalls, but for the moment I'll leave that for another post... But the challenge for my process has been keeping the yogurt at temperature while it is fermenting.

So I was already looking at yogurt makers to simplify the process when I ran across the fact that some Instant Pots have a yogurt function. This appealed to me right away. I want the things we keep in the kitchen to do more than one thing. Sometimes the single function appliance cannot be avoided. Perhaps I could use my waffle maker as a George Foreman grill, but I just haven't had the guts to try it. But if I can avoid adding another single purpose appliance, that will make me very happy. And if I can replace a Crock-Pot or rice maker then I'll be ecstatic. (We currently have two Crock-Pots. It's a problem. But when you want to have hot apple cider and little smokies or the much more trademark friendly lit'l smokies for the Christmas party, one Crock-Pot just doesn't cut it.)

To be clear, this is not a product review. I mean, I'll let you know about the inevitable comedy of errors that follows any over-baked idea that gets turned around in my head too many times. But if I didn't work through the entire process here, I'd be afraid that some of the flawed logic would not be documented for posterity.

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