(This is the web elf. This article is one of the articles Maki instructed to post while she's on the disabled list.)
If there's a kitchen appliance that needs a serious image makeover, it's the pressure cooker. Old myths abound about how dangerous and scary it is to use. Horror tales linger from the olden days of exploding lids and contents getting stuck on the ceiling. I'm not even sure if those stories are acrophyal, but I do admit that I sort of believed them too.
But then I inherited a 20 plus year old pressure cooker a couple of years ago. It belonged to Martha, Max's mom, and she used it all the time until she wasn't able to cook any more. It seems that pressure cookers are as ubiquitous in Swiss kitchens as rice cookers are in Japanese ones. (Incidentally, pressure cookers are getting more and more popular in Japan too.) Martha used to use hers for everything from soups to cooking potatoes. After my initial fears, I've grown to absolutely love the cooker.