February 10, 2012
I LOVE my crock-pot (or is it slow cooker?). I love buying a cheap cut of meat, adding a few more cheap ingredients, and having a wonderful meal ready the instant I return home from work.
Many of my slow cooker recipes only require six hours of cooking time, which works out well since my husband works from home and can get things started if I get things ready for him. Unfortunately, this doesn't always work out well.
Scenario 1 – I have all of the ingredients ready to go in a Tupperware container. All my husband has to do is mix them together at the appropriate time and turn on the machine. How many times have I come home to the entire recipe in the slow cooker, but stone cold? He forgot to turn the thing on. We went out that night.
Scenario 2 – I have all of the ingredients ready to go, and I put the veggies/spices in the machine. All he has to do is add the defrosted meat and turn it on. I come home to the heavenly scent of tomatoes, ginger, garlic, and brown sugar, but where is the chicken???? We went out that night.
Scenario 3 – We're going to try out a new recipe for slow cooker chicken and dumplings. Since they only require eight hours to cook, hubby is to add all of the pre-prepared fixin's at around 10:00 a.m. for a meal when I get home at 6:00. Well, hubby couldn't sleep that night so he got up at the crack of dawn and put the meal together for me. I tried to be gracious when I went into the kitchen to eat breakfast, but I guess I had a hard time hiding my dismay.
I'm sure there are many other ways to goof up a foolproof slow cooker meal. We'll keep experimenting with them. By the way, one of my favorite slow cooker cookbooks is The 150 Best Slow-Cooker Recipes by Judith Finlayson. Try the Chicken in Buttermilk Onion Gravy. Another is Slow Cooker: The Best Cookbook Ever. Try the Maple Bourbon Pork Chops. Be sure to use real maple syrup.