For years, I heard friends, online & "in real life," rave about their crockpots (slow cookers). Pop your ingredients into the pot, turn it on and when you arrive home at night, voila, there's dinner for the whole family.
At first, I didn't think a crockpot was for me. To be honest, I thought of it as a "mom" thing -- a timesaver for busy moms, who needed to make big dinners for an entire family.
Then I realized that *I'm* a busy person too, even if I'm not a mom -- and there are such things as reducing portions, leftovers and freezers. ;)
So I asked for a crockpot for Christmas one year -- and I got one. Unfortunately, I didn't realize just how big or HEAVY those things can be. I probably could have hauled it home with me if (a) I left everything else that had been in my suitcase behind, & (b) paid the airline extra fees for overweight baggage. I was also afraid of cracking or breaking the ceramic insert in transit.
So I asked my mom to return the crockpot. She gave me a gift card instead & when I got back home, I went shopping & bought my own crockpot.
Unfortunately, dh balked at the idea of leaving stuff cooking on the counter while we were out of the house for 11 hours (!), working & commuting. And we always seemed to find something else to make for dinner on the weekend. So the crockpot sat in my cupboard, unused and forlorn.
Fast forward to the present: both dh & I are now unemployed/early-retired. We have more time now to cook, and to think about dinner and menu planning, and to try new recipes -- to expand our repertoire beyond the fast & convenient foods we'd come to rely on while we were working.
So I suggested dusting off the crockpot.
About two weeks ago, we made a pot roast for Sunday dinner that turned out beautifully and gave us enough leftovers that we were able to feast on hot roast beef sandwiches for the next few days for lunch.
Tonight, we tried beef stew, which also turned out well.
Crockpots -- not just for moms. ;)
Do you have & use a crockpot? Any favourite recipes or recipe sites you can recommend (keeping in mind that I have a tomato allergy = no tomatos, tomato sauce or paste or barbecue sauce).