Saturday, February 12, 2011

I've Been Domestimacated

I believe I've mentioned once or twice that I'm not much of a cook. Actually, my cooking skills pretty much parallel my French-speaking skills - what I can make I make well, but I don't have a very large recipe repertoire. That said, I do pretty much all the cooking around here because Luke . . . well, up until two years ago Luke was living off cold cereal, tuna, and anything that could be cooked on a George Foreman grill. How's that for variety?

Anyway, we've both been getting a little bored by my ten(ish) tried-and-true, this-will-be-edible-when-it's-done concoctions and wanting to branch out. And it's possible I've mentioned this before, but supercook? Is awesome. Except for those times when it tells me I have everything I need except these weird nasty things called vegetables . . . or some crazy spice I've never even heard of. Because let's be realistic here, if Walmart doesn't carry it, I'm generally never going to see it. It sounds so white trashy, but hey, we're not exactly rolling in dough over here. Well, cookie dough sometimes. Like yesterday. I made snicker doodles. And they were a huge hit. Seriously, people (and not just Luke!) going on about how they were some of the best they've ever tasted - and I didn't even do anything special to them! (well, there was the "special" ingredient, lol . . . kidding!) Yay!

But I digress. Moving on . . . another thing - the whole "Lacey comes home at 1:00 and Luke goes to work at 3:00" thing doesn't exactly leave much time for making something to eat that takes longer than good old mac'n'cheese. So as part of a sort of joint NYResolution to eat healthier and have more variety I bought a crock pot. And can I just say that nothing makes you feel more adult and established and whatever than buying kitchen appliances you would have rolled your eyes at five years ago? I mean, in college it was "why start cooking dinner at 8:00 in the morning? We'll just order pizza again or something!" and in Florida I often considered it lucky to be awake enough to grab pop tarts on my way out the door and at dinner time if I wasn't out with people I was too tired to eat more than pop tarts again before bed. Generally speaking.

So buying this crock pot was really quite the little rite of passage. As was realizing that neither of us really know what to do with it. Hastings has a big fat crock pot cook book that I will probably be buying soon, but for now, while we're learning, we're going to stick with the handful of recipes that came in the instruction manual. And that, of course, means starting with the most obvious of crock pot recipes: beef . . . stew. Made it on Thursday. Well, and Wednesday. I chopped the vegetables up Wednesday night so there would be less prep work involved Thursday morning before leaving for work. I have to admit I was a little nervous as I left because if anyone can screw up such an idiot-proof undertaking it would be me. But lo and behold, five hours later I come home and the place smells FABULOUS!! (not fabulous: coming home from work Friday and swearing that the beef stew smell was stronger than it was Thursday. Good thing we have a candle warmer!) So I threw some cheater biscuits in the oven - because if I'd tried to make them from scratch I would have screwed something up . . . royally! - and we ate. And it was awesome. Delicious. Awesomely delicious. Deliciously awesome. We're totally going to have to use this crock pot thing again sometime.

Major perk - this is probably obvious, but the crock of our crock pot (or is it the pot?) is removable thank heaven!! I have no words for how much of a pain it is to wash mom's non-removable crock pot. In fact, that might be part of what put me off getting one for a while. Talk about unpleasant memories . . . I have no idea how that thing did not get dropped/broken/water damaged/otherwise completely ruined over the years of all of us trying to wash it in a sink that just isn't big enough to maneuver the thing and being careful about not getting the cord and stuff wet. Obnoxious! I agree with Luke - why the heck did it take people years to come up with the whole detachable part?!

It's so crazy to think I'm that person - one who cooks actual meals . . . and from a crock pot sometimes! Who would'a thunk, you know? (not me!) Sometime I feel so June Cleaver-ish, and it's really bewildering. Sometime soon I'm going to have to make something all fancy and wear some elaborately embroidered and be-laced apron. Along with my new pearls. Because I totally got my pearls last night. :-) YAY!

(side note: if you weren't there and you want anything, you have until Tuesday. Let me know.)

Back in high school we used to joke that we were getting edumacated. Because that's about the quality of a Bear River HS education . . . generally. Now it appears I've also been domestimacated. Should I be excited about this? Worried? I mean, seriously. It starts with crock pots. Next thing you know I'll be decorating cupcakes . . . taking blurry pictures and saying I blurred them on purpose and calling myself a professional photographer . . . bragging about kids who started walking and talking at four months (even though everyone knows I'm full of it) . . . great merciful crap, what is this road I've started down?! HELP!! ;-)

P. ost S. cript
A friend of mine posted this on facebook today. Talk about the perfect video for a Saturday morning!!


9 comments:

  1. 1. I love my crock pot. I had two until a few months ago, now I only have one and must buy another soon.

    2. Your mother needs a new crock pot.

    3. I've been married 15 years and have never owned one that didn't come apart.

    4. When is your parent's anniversary? Maybe you should buy them one.

    5. One jar salsa, one cup brown sugar, one pork roast. Cook all day. Shred about 30 minutes or so before you are going to eat and let the shredded meat continue to cook in the sauce. Serve on tortillas with lettuce and sour cream. You're welcome.

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  2. I found a blog once that was a crockpot recipe a day for 365 days. You shouldn't ever pay for a crockpot recipe book.

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  3. 2/3. That crock pot is probably older than I am.

    4. August . . . I just might!

    5. YUM, thanks! How long? High or low?

    Amanda - do you remember what it was by chance? I'll have to check out what I can find . . .

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  4. 5. Um. I have no idea. I put it in on low before I leave for work and we eat around 6 and that is probably too long so I add some water so it doesn't boil dry. You could probably google "how long to cook a pork roast in the crock pot" to get a general idea, but I really never think about it that much.

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  5. 1-5: I agree with everything Sharon said. Seriously I didn't even know ones that didn't come out existed. Wow.

    - I can't remember the last time I used my crock pot. I've never made cupcakes in my life.

    - http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/

    - Um...meatballs, one jar grape jelly, one bottle chili sauce. YUM. Serve over rice.

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  6. They also make crock pot liners- great for the really sticky messy ones (like meatballs) but for soup not really necessary. They make cleanup a cinch. We don't use them all the time but it's nice on a long day to make cleaning up a little easier.

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  7. Your mother grew up with a crockpot that has a removeable crock- it is in my kitchen now. Hers is probably one she got when she got married. Because removeable ones have been around for decades. Go with Sharon's suggestion.

    Chicken pieces, 1-2 cans cream of chicken soup, cook on low for 4-6 hours, shred and serve over rice or noodles.

    Maybe I'll start adding some more recipies to my cooking blog and I'll add some crockpot ones.

    Biscuits:
    http://sandrascookingcorner.blogspot.com/2008/04/biscuits-and-gravy.html

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  8. Most things take 4-6-8 hrs in a crock pot. Just put extra liquid in. I never cook anything in water in mine, chicken broth make everything better. I use mine all the time. Can cook enough Grandpa and I can make something out of whatever for days. Chicken with skin on and bone takes longer, but is much more flavorful, just remove the skin and bones before eating, discard them. Just make sure the crockpot is on a non-flamable surface, like top of stove or a non-flamable pad, as the counter top will get very hot under them, and could possibly cause a fire. Google crock pot recipes. I always have crockpot cooked chicken in the fridge and can use it in a variety of way.

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  9. Make a pan of cornbresd to go with stew--yummy. Only takes about 20 min. Luke could learn to make it and have them ready when you come home so you could eat together before leaving for work. I'll send you a good buttermilk buscit recipe if you would like, have them almost daily. A different taste for the chicken is to dredge the chicken pieces in flour, then braise them before puttin in the crockpot. Yummy-yummy, use for tacos or sandwiches, put veggies with it for soup, put over rice or noodles. You don't always have to follow the recipe exactly, find something that works for you.

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