Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The dreaded Crock-Pot

My mom owned a toy store for 10 years. She opened it when I was in the third grade and sold it my senior year of high school. Needless to say, a lot of my childhood memories are connected to the toy store. 

Now that I look back on it, I am amazed by my mom’s ability to balance owning a small business while raising four children — ages 5 (times two), 8 and 11 when it opened. But she designed it that way, working while we were at school and often going back after we went to bed to do some of the administrative work.

She was so good at it that we didn’t consider her to be a “working mom.” When teachers needed parents to help in the classroom and would ask whose mom didn’t work, my siblings and I all raised our hands. When asked about the toy store, we would just say, “Oh, that’s not really work.”

But there was one time of year that it often hit home that mom worked — Christmas. From Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve, things were more hectic than usual, and as another child of a retail storeowner described it, it was crock-pot season.

I have already established that I am a picky eater, and there was little that I hated more than the crock-pot. I think my hatred lies in the fact that I didn’t particularly like pot roast, which was what came out of the crock-pot more often than not. And beef stew wasn’t high on my list either. In fact, the only thing I remember coming out of the crock-pot that I liked was baked beans, but that was usually a summer cookout thing, not a December dinner solution.

So as an adult, I have accumulated a number of kitchen gadgets and small appliances, but a crock-pot has never been on the list of things I would like. But as I started planning this experiment with the co-op, I started to realize a crock-pot might just be a necessary evil. 

When one was put up for sale on what I call my company’s inner-office Craigslist, I actually purchased it.

Let’s just say that the first night I came home to a meal completely ready to eat as soon as I walked in the door from work, I called my mom to apologize for refusing to eat crock-pot dinners as a child.

Now I am actually excited about using my crock-pot. I have discovered an entire section in one of my cookbooks dedicated to slow cooker recipes and even downloaded the Crock-Pot iPhone application.

So yes, the appliance that I once dreaded has changed my cooking and made it possible to eat when I walk in the door at 7 p.m., rather than coming home and searching for something to eat.

And I am hopeful that between my crock-pot and my iPhone I will find a way to deal with this whole chicken I’ll be getting. Now if only I liked leftovers…

1 comment:

  1. I have soup simmering in my crock pot right now. I love being able to throw things together in the crock pot and then not having to worry about dinner,but still having something yummy to eat at dinner time. Our family actually has two crock pots. Sometimes I do a main dish in one and a side dish or dessert (baked apples) in the other.