Crack Pot

'tis the season

As in  CRACK out the crock POT (so if you’ve arrived at this blog post based on your web search for wack jobs, the following may disappoint).

I love the end of Daylight Savings Time. Let me amend that, I love the Bush-era end of Daylight Savings Time, the one that happens just enough later that instead of feeling like the summer rug has been yanked from under my feet, now, by the time I roll the clocks back,  I’m ready to take the damn rug out and beat it.

I like not feeling stressed that, just because there’s still daylight and a modicum of decent weather by the time nap ends at 4:00, it means I have to get out and do something with it. Now that it’s actually getting dark at 4, it’s carte blanche to stay in and be a homebody (I am terrible at being a home body); I LOVE having options.

Today, on top of the early dusk, it was also very cold and very wet, which around my house translates into one thing =crock pot.

I got a crock pot before I had kids, in fact, possibly even before I was married I think. It was a gift from my younger brother (who actually bought me a vegetable steamer [bless his heart] but we exchanged it for the highly-coveted-and-oh-so-useful crock pot instead). When DH and I lived in DC and worked typical DC hours (rush hour 0800 to rush hour 1900), it was a Godsend to come home to a house that smelled like home cooking and a hot dinner ready to eat. So if the Crock pot has been my culinary Godsend, then Judith Finlayson’s The 150 Best Slow Cooker Recipes has been its bible.

Over the past 7  years, I’ve probably only made about 30 of the 150 recipes but many of them I’ve made multiple times. Most are hits, a few are misses, tonight’s was somewhere in between. Not blogworthy, perhaps but if you’re going to make it, I thought I better throw my two cents in just in case.

With only a 4 hour window (for unseasoned crockpotters, typically dishes are started either in the morning or even the night before), I threw together page 38’s Savory Cheddar Cheese Soup . Admittedly, I was expecting something along the lines of a Welsh rarebit or at least something with a more fondue-like consistency (if you’re looking for the same, don’t try this at home, it’s definitely soupy). The one stroke of brilliance I did have was realizing that I also could combine my kids’ side dish of vegetables WITH the soup and have a true one-dish wonder. Tonight’s last-minute veggie: frozen broccoli florets, which I tossed in the crock pot for the last 5 minutes and in my opinion, it made the dish.

My mother makes a sinful, cheesey broccoli casserole, this was definitely it’s soupy cousin. I can’t guarantee that you’re wee charges will gobble it to the last drop, nor that you’ll love it in the same way I did, only that, on a cold wet night in early November, this is just the thing to warm (and fill) you up with a single bowl (side dish of meat and wacky dinner companions, optional).

[P.S. If you pick up or already have the cook book, let me know what you love. Here are a few tried and true in our house: pp. 46, 89, 95 & 152]

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. slightlywonky
    Nov 09, 2010 @ 08:32:26

    I’ve tasted many of your crock pot dishes, and they are always WONDERFUL. I have fond memories of pulled pork a few years ago? So good. You’re right. This weather is PERFECT for the ol’ crock pot. Now, if I can just plan 5 hours ahead of time…right? 🙂 Keep us posted of your other recipe adventures…


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