Monday, January 22, 2018

Instant Pot FAIL #1: Bone Broth

Okay, so I shouldn't be disappointed in my first #IPfail. I should have expected this! Brad and I were just discussing YESTERDAY how if I'm ever going to be one of those working moms who come home at 5pm and have dinner on the table at 6pm without the stress of cooking, I have to practice, practice, practice. I'm only good at the things I'm good at because I've had years of practice and trial and error. I cannot expect myself to be a wonderful, stress-free cook overnight! Not even with this magical new appliance of mine - the Instant Pot! the next few lines that you read... this is me giving myself grace...

Because there are not possibly enough hours in the day to accomplish all.of.the.things and still enjoy the little moments.

While I was clipping inspirational quotes for my Commit30 planner inspiration board, I found this quote (as it relates to working motherhood):

"I've never seen a 50-50 day. It's not a balancing act. It's constant compromise and sacrifice."


  • 2 weeks ago I started my third MBA class. I currently have an "A"! The class is only 6 weeks long.
  • Yet... I haven't run a single mile in 2 weeks (and that's okay)
  • Over the last 2 weeks (at work), we've been preparing for a major testing weekend and I've been working more hours with my team.
  • Yet... I've only cooked during the weekends. Brad has done most of the feeding-us Mon-Fri. (and that's okay)
  • The last two weekends have been full of more family activities and less "prep for the week" chores! This is a major win in my book.
I'm kinda validating my rookie-error that led to this Instant Pot Fail to the fact that I was trying to juggle too many things on Sunday afternoon when I attempted to make Bone Broth for my Chicken Soup. But aren't we (as moms) always trying to juggle "too many things" ?

So here is what I did....


I didn't even think about it.

Saturday night I made a successful Lemon Chicken Thighs (which I will post about next) and then I took the ring out of the lid to wash it! I've noticed that my sealing ring has started to smell like last night's dinner. Saturday night when I was cleaning up the kitchen after dinner, I took the ring out and gave it a good wash. It was sitting on the drying rack under a mountain of other random kitchen items that were washed.

Sunday when I took my carcass out of the deep freezer, I was chopping the veggies and I was also feeding Jo some lunch (yes, we still eat fish sticks around here... just not as often... ha). Well, I was having trouble getting the carcass to fit because all of the bones were just frozen solid in a large gallon zip lock bag. So I had to "saute" some water and my carcass to get the bones to unfreeze so I can put the lid on.

We were also approaching nap time. And you know how that is! If Joanna doesn't get escorted to her room by 1pm, she usually won't fall asleep until about 2:30pm. She finds this "second wind", refuses nap and then when she finally does fall asleep, she doesn't wake up until 4-4:30pm. Then she wakes up grumpy. It's a dreadful process that we JUST went through on Saturday because we were out in Austin having fun together and we went down for nap later than normal.

So, I was juggling my carcass, Joanna's lunch and feeding myself all before that 1pm deadline. AND I FORGOT TO PUT THE SEALING RING BACK INTO MY POT

Look how beautiful my veggies and carcass were...

And I should have known something was wrong when...
  1. My pot started letting out more steam than normal, with the lid on.
  2. The little "water catcher" on the back was FULL of water, TWICE!
  3. I saw water on the floor, immediately right of the pot and the kitchen island it's sitting on.
  4. I found water all over the counter top.

But I just kept going about my 2hour count down to making Bone Broth because I was determined to take my MBA test during Joanna's nap time. And I got it done! I got an A on my test!

...and I also burned the sh*t out of that carcass and veggies. And I ended up with a pot full of bones and scorch! 

The realization that my Bone Broth is all Bones :(
The "how the heck am I going to clean this up" while dumping into the trash!
 So, what did I do next?

I texted two of my Instant Pot Sisters for a good laugh. I called my MIL for some suggestions on how to clean the gunk out of the bottom of my pot. And then I threw myself a little pitty party.

I almost didn't cook dinner at all. 

Apparently some boiled vinegar and water will start the process of removing the gunk....
Round 1 - vinegar and water
Then, took the pot to the sink and put some baking soda. It started to fizz and I started to scrape (or scour like google calls "cleaning"). I had to ask my MIL what the heck that meant too :)

Then, we went on to Round 2 of vinegar and water... and by this point I was getting hungry! And still considering giving up on actual dinner.

Round 2 - vinegar and water
PS - Joanna and I ate cereal for dinner on Friday night when Brad was working second shift at the hospital. I honestly had guilt about feeding her cereal again (this time on Sunday night) - and thats probably the primary reason why I proceeded to actually cook dinner once I got the pot cleaned! Plus, I couldn't really send "left over" cereal with Brad to work another 10hr overnight shift. I felt guilty about that too.

The happy ending is that my pot cleaned up like new and my Spaghetti dinner turned out excellent. Joanna didn't speak the entire dinner (she is usually a chatter box pointing out the things she doesn't want to eat) and she ate everything on her plate. I'll have to share that recipe with you guys later this week. But tonight, all I could do was laugh at my pot of Bones and chalk it up to a lesson learned...



PPS - I will be attempting this Bone Broth for my Chicken Soup again. And this time, I won't forget the Sealing Ring :)

IP Rookie Stephanita

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