Jul 17, 2014

Six Reasons why a "Crock-pot" will improve your life

R2D2, "Crocky" my beautiful old Crock-Pot
My love affair with R2, otherwise know as Crocky.

Here is a little bit of background on my famous Crock-Pot otherwise known as R2. R2 is short for R2D2, named for the adorable little droid, if you squint your eyes just so you can see the resemblance. 

R2 is lovingly nicknamed Crocky. Yes, I name my handy household helpers but that is another post for another day.  

R2 is old, he is steady, he has been my Crock through thick and thin. I began blogging because of my Crock-pot. One of my dear friends told me that I am “Crock Crazy” and have a rather weird love affair with my beloved little R2.  She asked me why I love my Crock-Pot so much.  It hasn't always been that way.  My relationship with Crocky started off on more rocky than crocky, and I have to admit this is not my first Crock Pot.  

My first Crock was a harvest gold and green one that I had bought for my Mom one Mother’s Day for $10.  I remember it like yesterday.  I was just old enough to go to a real “store” on my own with my trusty 10 speed bike.  

I saw the Crock-Pot on the shelf and thought “Wow!”  Yes, it was love at first sight.  Yes, all sparkly love, with cartoon like diamond eyes.  I bought it.  No second thought.  Then I had to ride home balancing it on my trusty 10 speed bike.  Apparently, I hadn't really thought through that part of the process and just leapt into love. You try to ride 3 miles balancing a big, heavy Crock-Pot box on 10 speed bike handle bars.  I did it though, probably through sheer stubborn determination.

I wrapped it up with the prettiest wrapping paper I could find.  That Mother’s Day morning I gave it to my Mom.  The first ever “real” mother’s day gift ever, that I bought with my own babysitting money. Her reaction was sheer and utter speechlessness.  I think she was able to eventually utter a weak “ummm, thank you that is so sweet”.   I was devastated, how could she not see the beauty I saw?

Fast forward, I graduate college, I am in my first apartment ever, I have my hand-me-down furniture my parents couldn't wait to pawn off on me, hand-me-down dishes,  and a BRAND NEW STILL IN THE BOX Crock-Pot.  Yes.  It was harvest green and gold.  It was the original love at first sight Crock-Pot.

So, excitedly I tried a few recipes.  All, every single one of them, were an epic, horrible disaster.  Now I understood my Mom’s original reaction and why the Crock-Pot had come to me as a brand new hand- me-down.  The Crock-Pot went to Goodwill.  That was a hard break up.

It took me years to get over it.  

Then my hubby popped the question and asked me to marry him.  My mother took me shopping for a “Congratulations on getting engaged gift” .  Off we go to the department store housewares department.  That is when I saw it.  All sparkly, all white, with a removable crock for easy cleaning, with multistage timed cooking, with a “stay warm” timer.  I told her this is what I wanted. 

 She looked at me and said “No you don’t”.
“Yes I do” I replied, “This Crock-Pot is different”. 

She let out an audible sigh and said “I don’t understand your fascination with Crock-Pots but this is your choice. Okay.”

Well, since that day I have been on a search for yummy Crock-Pot recipes.  Some are wins and repeats, some, well some not so much.  

But, I do love my Crock-Pot with all my heart and it is part of our family, here is why:

I can make dinner in the morning, and it smells wonderful cooking all day.  

The house just fills with a wonderful aroma.  When the kids come home from school or various activities they come through the door shouting  “What are you making? It smells AMAZING!”  So I feel like a super woman, like a rock star chef.

I get to get my day started knowing the answer to “what is for dinner?”

I am not scratching my head at 6:00 pm, after losing track of the time, thinking what can I order for dinner that isn't pizza? (Though pizza is a food group for me, not so much my family. Can you believe that?)

It is easy clean up.  

One pot, enameled for easy, peasy, lemon squeezy clean up.  Toss in some Dawn dish soap, water and let it soak.  By the time I am ready for bed it is a quick wipe, dry and I AM DONE!

Healthy Recipes that include Veggies

With the internet and great recipe websites and food bloggers, I have found recipes that are healthy and include veggies.  Emboldened, I have learned to adapt and make some classic family favorites without having to stay home all day watching the stove or oven. So Crocky gives me my freedom and independence!

I can usually make a meal large enough to have some “lucky leftovers”.  

Which for a family of 5 that loves to eat and has children that have been lovingly called little locusts because they will strip your food supply bare, this is always a good thing.

New Traditions

Best part yet, I have started a new tradition that when friends come to visit our family I ask them to bring their family’s favorite Crock-Pot recipe.  This way, we can go out, do fun things families do and then when we get home we have a great meal I know my guests will love and my family probably will enjoy as well!

So Yes, I do love my Crock-Pot and now have a wonderfully mature relationship with R2.  R2 isn't so sparkly and new anymore, in fact Crocky is turning a little yellow around the edges.  There are also newer more technically advanced Slow Cookers, as they are now called, with very fancy options in all sorts of fancy sports car colors.  

But, Crocky and I understand each other.  We understand there will be good days and bad days, but more good than bad.  We understand each other’s limitations and for the most part accept them yet we continue to try to grow together as we explore new things and cooking adventures.  So I choose to keep R2 until he just isn't able to cook along anymore.  

Now if I could just make pizza with R2.  Sigh, no relationship is perfect.

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  1. I totally get it - I love my crockpot as well!! (And I actually have the very same one as you!!) Besides all the fabulousness you described, I have just realized another awesome use for my crockpot - camping dinners! I can make ahead of time stuff like taco meat, sloppy joes, pulled pork, etc. and just warm it up in the crockpot. Or this past weekend, I brought frozen chicken breasts, which thawed in the cooler just enough, cooked for a few hours in the crockpot, and made fabulous shredded chicken sandwiches. Another time we grilled chicken drumsticks before we went, kept them in the cooler, then heated them up with BBQ sauce for dinner. So now I use my crockpot INSIDE all fall, winter, and spring, and OUTSIDE in the summer!!
    Great post! :)

  2. Beth, Thanks so much for your comment and great idea to help with camp cooking as well. I have never thought of that! Next time our family goes camping R2 can now join us!


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