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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Instant Pot class boosts Second Harvest kitchen that teaches cooking to low-income families

Elene Johnston’s Instant Pot has been sitting in her cabinet for three months. Unused.

But after attending an Instant Pot book author’s cooking class Tuesday in Second Harvest’s television-quality kitchen, she’s ready to fire up her pressure cooker.

“Now I’m not afraid to use it,” Johnston said.

Second Harvest, a local nonprofit food bank in Spokane, uses the kitchen mostly to teach low-income families kitchen skills and how to cook healthy meals using donated ingredients, which mostly come from grocery stores in Spokane. The classes are free.

Tuesday’s class with Laurel Randolph, the author of “The Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook” was a little different.

Second Harvest partnered with Northwest Passages Book Club by The Spokesman-Review to host Randolph for the class, and proceeds from the ticket sales went to hosting more classes. The nonprofit hosts the classes at the kitchen in its warehouse at 1234 E. Front Ave.

Randolph cooked up a potato, spinach, cheese and bacon soup in an Instant Pot for the audience.

“It’s funny doing a demo in an Instant Pot because you can’t see anything,” she said before cooking began.

But what the 15 or so people in the audience did see was the ingredients go in to the pressure cooker. They saw about 15 minutes pass, a plume of steam rising into the air as it depressurized and after some immersion blending, vibrant green soup being ladled into bowls.

“This is kind of a perfect holiday recipe because it’s green,” Randolph said.

Randolph is teaming up with Top Chef contestant Chad White for another round of Instant Pot cooking at a Northwest Passages’ event Wednesday night. All proceeds from ticket sales for the show will go to Second Harvest, too. Wednesday’s show will feature a four-course meal using Instant Pots at The Spokesman-Review. The event is sold out.