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20 February 2009 @ 11:30 pm
 
A few years ago, I received a crockpot.* It might have been my sister's bright idea. It might have been my mom's. It's unlikely it was my dad's. He was still rather keen on supplying me with stacks and stacks of Williams Sonoma dishtowels... not that I'm complaining; they're outstanding. Thing is, they hold up well past the stain threshold. I really ought to think about retiring some of those bad boys...

But enough on dishtowels; my point is this: I found myself in possession of a crockpot.* As it happened, I'd recently moved into a tiny house with a tiny kitchen and ridiculously tiny counterspace, so the crockpot* spent a considerable span of time languishing in my equally tiny attic.

Then, something very strange happened. On a cool autumn day, I ventured up the creaky/scary fold-down stairs into my tiny attic. I was looking for a bin of sweaters, I think, or extra blankets, when lo! a stray shaft of light fell upon a a solitary and somewhat dusty box. I swear I heard the faint strains of heavenly choirs (though, on further reflection, it may well have been the kitties yowling at one another as they bounced about in the basement). "Jinkies!" thought I. "This bears further investigation!" Whereon I brought the box down, opened it up and placed the crockpot* upon my ridiculously tiny counter where it sat, unused, for another year.

Then I thought to actually use this contrivance to - brace yourselves! - cook things. I started off easy: chicken and white bean chili. Stepped it up to spiced pinto beans. Beef stew. Pork shoulder. Pot roast. AN ENTIRE CHICKEN! Crikey! I thought to myself! This contraption is bloomin' brill! How could I ever have doubted? From whence had my worries - "my house will burn to it's foundation if I leave the crockpot* unattended!," or, "cook meat slowly for eight hours? are you MAD!?" - sprung?

I'm just wondering, flist, how many of you make use of a crockpot* (or similar device)? Do you use it grudgingly, or with some house-burning-down fear? Are you cool with leaving it on when you're out of the house? And most importantly, what kick ass recipes can you share with me?




*or should I say slow cooker? what's the difference? seriously. if you've an answer, please share.

ETA: apparently 'Crockpot' is a trademark.

And that's one to grow on.

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I feel: busybusy
 
 
 
harpiegirl4: yay vampire!harpiegirl4 on February 21st, 2009 12:07 pm (UTC)
I LOVE my crockpot. Truth is, I love anything that has dinner waiting for me when I get home. Yes, Cody has some very fierce competition with that crockpot.

We shall share recipes next weekend on our way to the barn. My favorites are chicken cacciatore and lentil stew. :)
aryianaaryiana on February 21st, 2009 10:17 pm (UTC)
hmmmm.... lentil stew?? Please share....
La Petite Souris Scientifiquemelebeth on February 21st, 2009 12:46 pm (UTC)
I love my crockpot. Mostly I make improvisational stews that I cook for hours and hours in it - although I worry if I leave the house for more than an hour or two.
wench18wench18 on February 21st, 2009 01:04 pm (UTC)
I love my crockpot. With the schedules Josh and I have - I would like to cook EVERY meal in it. Just need more recipes.
Kathytoosha on February 21st, 2009 01:10 pm (UTC)
I don't use mine nearly enough. My Mom has about every shape and size of Crcpot made and has used them for as long as I can remember.

What I loved best was I found out about a potluck lunch at work the day before. I went home and before going to bed put a meal together in the Crocpot and let it do the cooking overnight. So easy and stress free. Used the one Mom had with an insulated travel bag.
Janet: good eatsgoodnite_gracee on February 21st, 2009 01:54 pm (UTC)
My love affair with my crockpots (yes, I have several - and have even used them at the same time!) is on again off again. I've got no issue leaving it on, but I'll use it for a while then not use it for ages. ALWAYS use it at parties...

I have been trying to post a pork roast recipe for it since January - but haven't had the energy to copy it into a post. Keep your eues peeled...
Julietfair_juliet on February 21st, 2009 02:20 pm (UTC)
My ex's mother SWORE by the croc pot. that's how 90% of their dinners were prepared she started it on the lowest setting when she left for work and when she came home it was done.
rabu-rabu-zura?kiarasayre on February 21st, 2009 02:40 pm (UTC)
There's an enchilada pie thing that my mom makes which is pretty good and pretty easy...unfortunately, since we don't have a slow-cooker here at school, I don't have the recipe.

I also have the feeling she makes ropa vieja in it sometimes, but she might just use it to keep it warm for family gatherings and I always just make it on the stove anyway. ^_^;
Annephloxyloxy on February 21st, 2009 02:56 pm (UTC)
I HAVE A CROCKPOT!! At home, not in Austria. I LOVE it. So so sooo much, even though my friends make fun of me for using it. Sadly I don't have my crockpot-specific cookbooks with me, but I have a couple that I use. Here's one: http://www.amazon.com/Rival-Crock-Pot-Favorites-Occasions/dp/1412727693/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1235227924&sr=1-1

What I like to make: chilis, pot roasts, pork chops with onions and apples, cheesy potatoes. If I had it here, I bet I would try more soups, Mexican food, Asian food, chicken and dumplings, and just...more recipes in general. But there's a LOT out there!

Also, Better Homes and Gardens has a section of slow cooker recipes: http://www.bhg.com/recipes/slow-cooker/ And foodnetwork.com has lots of recipes of different difficulty levels if you type "slow cooker" into the search box.

YAY for Crock Pots!!

Kelly: Tinktinkerkelly on February 21st, 2009 05:34 pm (UTC)
I love my crockpot! I use it a lot during the winter for heavy stuff, like stews and pot roasts. I have no problem leaving it on while at work on the low setting. It's like magic!
Ratesjul: Emma Aloneratesjul on February 22nd, 2009 05:15 am (UTC)
I don't have one, but I have been tempted to get one. Haven't gotten there yet.

Yay for getting use out of it!!