Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Crack-Pot

Okay. I have a confession. A confession that’s going to make me sound much more ‘Suzy Homemaker-ish’ than I really am. Really.

I love my Crock-Pot. Yep, loooove it.

I actually own two Crock-Pots (or ‘slow-cookers’, if we’re going to get technical). One that is the ‘standard’ size which I use most of the time, and the other is the ‘Big Mama’ one, suitable for feeding a crowd of approximately fifteen hundred.

I just love the way my house smells when I’m cooking something in my Crock-Pot. I love how easy it makes my day. I love being able to hang out with my friends at the park for an extra 45 minutes in the afternoons, watching our kids play, knowing that dinner is ready the minute we walk in the door.

And now that they make those nifty bags that you put in the slow-cooker before you use it, and then just throw away when you’re cleaning up? Well, when I discovered those, I swear that the heavens opened up and the angels sang a little chorus of 'No more scrubbing! Alleluia!' Or maybe that was just Phil ;)

Of course, sometimes (like tonight), I have a little trouble with the Crock-Pot knob. I know, I know. It shouldn’t be that difficult. I mean, really, what are the options?

Well, there is ‘Warm’ for the first option. I don’t really use that setting very often, except for when I’m making hot cheesy dip, and I need to keep it warm for my party-goers. And, of course, when I’m melting the wax from my ‘spa-at-home’ bikini wax kit. Wow…I bet you’ll never eat cheese dip at another one of my parties, am I right?

The next setting is ‘Low’ and it is, by far, my favorite one to use. Get the kids off to school, throw a bunch of random stuff into the crock-pot, and open the lid approximately every 2 hours to smell the delicious goodness.

Well, at least I start off the day very HOPEFUL that it will be delicious. I must admit I have had a couple of mishaps with my Crock-Pot. There was this one time with tuna… well, I don’t want to get into it, but let’s just say- it wasn’t pretty. Oh, and this other time with spareribs. They *were* pretty. They just tasted like crap. With barbecue sauce.

But I have had many more successes than failures on the ‘Low’ setting. I have several ‘tried and true’ recipes that are always a big hit. There is, of course, Jen’s brisket and gravy recipe. My Mexican Chicken chowder. That chicken swissy thing… I’m not sure of the actual name of the recipe, I’m sure it’s something much more clever than ‘that chicken swissy thing’, but it has chicken in it, and swiss cheese. So…um…well, yeah.

I’m a little more apt to screw things up on the ‘High’ setting. It doesn’t always happen, but food can go haywire with the ‘High’ setting. Most things cook just fine, but when they don’t, they are either totally undercooked or completely overcooked. So, my chicken is either still pinkish when I cut it (of course, JUST as the children are in the kitchen, ‘fainting from hunger, Mom!’) or it’s so dry that we have to dip each bite in a glass of water before we attempt to chew it, a la ‘Christmas Vacation’ with the Griswolds. Come on, you know the scene… the one with the Christmas turkey. I’m choking a little just thinking about it.

And then there’s tonight. Meatballs with BBQ sauce… easy, breezy, right? Just about anything in the crock-pot tastes good when doused with barbecue sauce (with the exception, evidently, of spareribs.) Unfortunately I didn’t pay attention to the part about cooking them for 3 hours… on HIGH. Cooking them for three hours on ‘Low’ just wasn’t going to do the trick.

So, I guess I know what we’re having for dinner tomorrow night. Because tonight turned out to be a trip to Taco Bell.

Stupid knob.

6 comments:

Laurie K said...

I didn't use mine much in the early years. There are far more recipes for them now than when I first got married. A word to the wise, though: beware of any recipe that calls for broccoli.
I found one that, while it tasted really good, the smell left a lot to be desired. (Like half the town came and farted in the kitchen while we were gone. Yeah, bet you want that recipe, don't ya.)

jen said...

Oh the joys and pains of the Crock Pot. We tried a chicken teriyaki recipe once that tasted like chuncky teriyaki soup. It wasn't good.

Good luck with those meatballs.

Shanda said...

What about forgetting to turn the damn thing on? Have you pulled that one? I have, twice!! It was horrible...not only did I have to pick up dinner, but I had to throw out dinner.

But....when I do remember to turn it on, the meal is using a big hit. We'll have to swap recipes.

Bonnie said...

Love my crockpot too! The bowtie pasta dish you made in it was delish last night at bunco. I have not yet discovered the bags, hmmm....

Sarah. said...

Yes, last night was delish. You have to share that one. (on your long forgotten menu blog maybe?!) I learned the hard way to leave a sticky-note right by the crock pot on the counter so the house keepers wouldn't "accidentally" turn it off.

Sarah. said...

Oh, and good call on the broccoli comment. Will remember that one!