Tuesday 7 December 2021

(Updated 07/12/2021)

phobia is basically a persistent fear of a situation of an object, a person or anything really. There are different phobias that people suffer from. These phobias in most cases have a link to an unpleasant or scary situation that may have happened in the past. 

I have a few phobias myself but one of these phobias was something I never really felt comfortable speaking about. You see, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I love to cook, I have a cooking show and I’ve even published my own cookbook. The tagline of my culinary exploits is Zibby Can Cook. It’s become part of my brand and identity so for me, it was rather embarrassing to admit that I had a phobia of a very common Kitchen object.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been terrified of pressure cookers. As a child my mum would always warn against going near that pressure cooker, She would talk about how dangerous it was and it got stuck in my head, all these years.

I developed an intense fear of pressure cookers, so bad that I would never even touch one even if it was in its original packaging. I would never wash a pressure cooker that had been used to cook, I just never wanted to touch it. I never ate beans, as it was perhaps the only dish the pressure cooker in my home was used to prepare.

As a microbiology student and later graduate, I did spend a lot of time in a laboratory and watched different types of agar being prepared using an autoclave which is very similar to a pressure cooker. 

I was always terrified whenever agar was being prepared, and right before the plates were put into the autoclave I would literally run for my life. No one really understood it but I just couldn’t imagine being that close to a bigger and more powerful pressure cooker.  

Many years later, I’m proud to say I’ve conquered my fear of pressure cookers. How did I do it?

My dad teased me about how long it took me to cook beans he said it would take him about 15 minutes using the pressure cooker. I forgot to include that as a teenager, I’d thrown my mom’s pressure cooker away because I was terrified every time I saw it. If anyone noticed the big pressure cooker suddenly vanished, no one said anything. 

Because Dad knew I was terrified of pressure cookers, he would cook it himself when he had time. My dad is the best beans cook in the world, so once he’s in the mood, everyone lets him enjoy his chef moment. 

Recently, after observing him cook a few times, I decided to try it out for myself. I was terrified but I was determined. Thanks to watching my dad, watching videos and doing a lot of online research, I’ve now used a pressure cooker a grand total of four times. 

Am I still scared? Slightly, but not as much as I used to be. Does the sound of steam escaping still bother me? Yes, it does, but not so much. (Okay I leave the kitchen once the hissing starts)  But my confidence in using the pressure cooker has grown. 

I’m very excited to see I conquered my phobia of the pressure cooker. I had to take a picture of the beans I cooked a short while ago, using the once dreaded pressure cooker. 

Do you have a phobia?  If you do, remember you can conquer that fear - it might not be easy the first time, but it will get better. 

And when you try, don’t forget to pat yourself on the shoulder. And when you overcome the fear, reward yourself. In my case, my reward is a gorgeous plate of beans and plantain. 

Update: About 12 hours after this article was originally posted, I had a mini incident with the pressure cooker. I didn't beat myself up and learned from my mistake. I tried again 3 hours later and it was perfect. I also stayed in the kitchen with the hissing sound and wasn't too bothered, especially after the first incident. Bye Bye Phobia! 

By Zibby


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Hiya, im Zibby and this is a brief intro about me :)

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