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Foodies can find tasty recipes for Instant Pot meals at the library

If you like to cook, where do you find your recipes?

Cookbooks are among our most popular non-fiction books, and we have new cookbooks arriving at the library all the time. With the explosion of the Internet, there are now countless recipes to choose from online. But it remains true that some of the best recipes are the ones that are passed along in person. Perhaps you have a tattered recipe card in your grandmother’s handwriting.

Maybe you have a scrap of paper where you hastily scribbled down a recommended recipe at a dinner party. There’s something to be said for a tried-and-true recipe that someone else has already vetted, and there’s bonus points if someone has already made it for you, and you’ve been able to taste it.

At the library, we always want to empower you to learn. Sometimes that is from books, sometimes from the internet, and sometimes, from each other. Which is why we’re hosting an Instant Pot recipe swap!

One of the most recognized multi-cooker brands is the Canadian-made Instant Pot, which has helped make pressure cooking fashionable again. The Instant Pot has nearly 30,000 reviews on Amazon, many of them glowing with praise. Year after year, the Instant pot smashes its own sales records: in 2018, Amazon reportedly sold 300,000 units in just 36 hours.

Unlike the stovetop pressure cookers you might remember from your grandmother’s kitchen, the Instant Pot plugs in, and can be left to cook without any supervision. It’s a seven in one countertop appliance, with different settings that allow it to work as an electric pressure cooker, a slow cooker, a steamer, a rice maker, a sauteer, a yogurt maker, and a warmer. The claims of the Instant Pot seem almost too good to be true: it promises healthy, convenient, fast, homemade food a fraction of the time.

There is one catch that hinders many would-be enthusiasts: there’s a significant learning curve when it comes to the Instant Pot, or any multi cooker. It’s common for purchasers to buy their multi cooker and leave it in the box for several months. It can be an intimidating tool to start using. Since pressure cooking changes the boiling point of water, it is a different cooking technique. The Instant Pot has lots of buttons and settings, and it’s not necessarily intuitive.

Whether you love or fear your Instant Pot, join us at the Centennial Branch at 7 p.m. for our Instant Pot recipe swap! You don’t have to be an expert — just bring your questions. If you have a favourite recipe, you’re encouraged to send it to me ahead of time at or bring it on Wednesday, and we’ll make copies (free of charge) to share with the rest of the group.

Laura Trabucco is the Community Engagement Librarian at Fort Erie Public Library.

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