SAN FRANCISCO — Dianne Feinstein has long been one of the Senate’s strongest advocates for pressure cooker control. But few people may know that the California Democrat used to cook for herself. At one time she was highly regarded as an aspiring chef and could wield a mean pressure cooker. Her favorite recipe was for Oxtail Stew.
From when she was a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to being a US Senator, Feinstein has always been pressed for time and was never one to enjoy the luxury of a slow cooker. And she has seen what they can do.
“I used to use pressure cookers all the time” said Feinstein. “I loved the big ones, the ones which could be used to feed a large family, but then one day I saw what they could do.” With a somber tone she shared a painful story. “One day I was at a friend’s house. She had recently bought a high capacity pressure cooker on my recommendation and was preparing a meal for the family when she opened the cooker too soon- without releasing enough pressure.”
Her face twisted as if she was feeling a searing pain she continued. “I heard the scream and ran to the kitchen. The spray from cooker just went everywhere. It was a scene I’ll never forget. Stew was dripping from the walls, from the table, from my friend’s dress. I have a hard time even talking about it now. I reached to my friend to see if there was any chance of saving the stew, but it was too late. I know from first-hand experience what damage … these weapons can do to homes. Now Boston. Enough. We need this legislation and we need it now.”
“Small capacity pressure cooker just wouldn’t do the kind of damage I’ve seen and these dangerous things need to be minded all the time so I believe strongly that we need to ban high capacity pressure cookers as well as the semi-automatic pressure cooker. That’s why I have authored the Assault Cooker Ban of 2013″
Feinstein said that one of her proudest moments came when she melted her pressure cooker down into a bottle opener which she handed to Emeril Lagasse during an episode of Emeril Live.
“When I placed it in his hand, I could not resist yelling ‘BAM!’” she quipped with a grin. “You should have seen him jump. I wish I could make the entire Senate jump like that.”