Monday, August 25, 2008

A Crock of Utter

Ladies and gents,

Crabhubby and I have something to tell you. We wrestled over this decision for a while (or rather, I did, whereas he was basically okay with it from the get-go) but after thinking about this for a long, long time and worrying about the details (do we have the space?) I decided to just go for it. And so we have some really big and exciting news for you, and I feel like you guys are like my family, you know? So I know you will be thrilled for us even if you're a little wary and wondering rightly whether the Crabmom can handle such a big new responsibility on top of her regular commitments as wife, mother, blogger, and complainer.

SO. I've been holding out on you, but now that our new addition is officially here and all, I thought it best to just make it...official.

Crabhubby and I are pleased to announce a delightful new addition to our family. She arrived pale but robust in size, and we couldn't be more thrilled to have her in our home at last. Truly does she bring joy to us all!

No, not a new baby, dumb-dumbs. I mean, seriously, HAVE YOU BEEN READING THIS BLOG, OR SNOOZING INTO YOUR GREEN TEA? Crabmommy and two children: bwa-ha ha! Too comically hideous to imagine her pulling that one out of her hat, eh! No, we have something a little more docile and a lot more helpful than a new baby: a crock pot.

Seriously, I have just bought a crock pot and have become totally obsessed with it. It is not unlike maternal love: you are amazed at how lovely this new addition to the household is, and amazed that you ever lived without it. And amazed by how dang heavy the thing is when you cradle it in your arms a whole bunch. Having a crock pot also elicits less positive but equally familiar thoughts from me, just as having a new baby had its significant downside for the Crabmommy: I can't believe how much I think about and talk about this crock pot and it's depressing to me that I am doing so.

But I can't help it.

Yesterday we attended a Crabhubby company barbecue, where my good friend Jege overheard me discussing the crock pot with several other women. She could not believe the banality of the discussion. I think it was so banal as to be almost interesting and as such, she informed us that we were basically a bunch of losers for talking about our crock pots.

And she's right.

But. Crock pot. I like it. You can throw stuff into it, and make eating all fancy-like with minimal effort. You get to feel all Nigella when the spouse returns daily to the fold from the cruel toil of office work, and is greeted by the warmly delectatious and sassy aroma of the crock pot repast, wafting splendidly across the threshold of your home and making you feel hugely kickass and capable-like, for multi-tasking like a mother.

On a depressing note, it's true that in some way I feel I've officially crossed over the other side of the domestic abyss, now that I have a crock pot. It's not so much the crock pot itself but my love for it that formally marks me as a woman lost to my former life, a life spent doing...what, exactly? Can't remember, but anyhoo, I think you know what I'm saying. This crock pot business, it is both disturbing in its capacity to render me pleased with my otherwise gad-dull day and also it is very much cool. So, you know, get one. Let's be in a club together! Why the heck not, I say!

I hereby call for your easiest, most retardedly basic (can you say the r-word about a recipe and get away with it?) crock pot recipes. Or if you don't have a recipe, feel free to heap upon me your scorn before you go out for your apple-sake-mocha-tini or whatever it is you undomesticated unharnessed urchins of youth libate when you go on your wild forays out into the world beyond your front doors...

New posts chez bloglet. Please to go there, yes?


Anonymous said...

I was prepared to snicker at you, until I remembered that:

1. I bought a minivan this summer. And I love it.

2. My children think that dinner comes from McDonald's whenever Daddy is out of town.

Emily L. said...

Gross! Learn to cook like the rest of us!

New crockpot owners are always so excited. Just wait until you make some nasty turkey thigh overnight project!

OK, casseroles and crockpots are good for one thing- allowing more time to drink before dinner!

Teril said...

Roast. We do the roast in a pot. I love torturing the kids with roasts they see the vegetables and the onions and they scream in anticipation of their mac and chz culinary demise. Yup I like making roasts.

crabmommy said...

Emily, I can't wait to make that nasty turkey overnight thigh project. Do you have recipe? :)

Ellen W said...

I am not embarassed to say I love my crock pot and use it often -especially during the winter months. It is very satisfying to have dinner prepared by 9 am in the morning.

McCormick's has a line of crock pot seasonings and the one for BBQ pork is very tasty. I get compliments every time I serve it.

mommyknows said...

I refuse to believe that Nigella uses a crock-pot.

That said, I do quite like mine. I'd love to give you a recipe, but I usually just make things up and pray for the best.


Fall From Grace said...

....recipe? Could this be why my meat always comes out powdery? Not just overdone but powder. Seriously.

I hope you got the kind where you can lift out the ceramic pot-thing. Mine doesn't come out and it's awful to clean. Usually, I just fill it with water to soak and leave it for my hub. Who leaves it for me.

I did read that eight hours on low uses less energy than an oven set at 350 degrees for one hour, so you're going green, girl! Must be all those granola mommies rubbing off on you.

Oh, apparently you can bake a cake in a crock pot. I'm not sure I'd want to eat it.

Fall From Grace said...

I'll be first. I've never made them but I've eaten em. And asked for the recipe.

Suzanne's Crockpot Beans (she's a swell gal)

2 cups of beans (navy, great northern)
water to cover.

Pick over bears (I assume she meant 'beans'). Soak overnight. In the morning, rinse and cover with water. Simmer on stovetop on medium-low (so they don't split) for 1 - 1 1/2 hours. Pour off all liquid except for one cup.

Into water add:

2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1 onion, chopped, raw.
1/4 pound salt pork or bacon, sliced, cubed or fried.

Stir well and pour sauce mixture over top of beans ...which I assume are already in your crock pot of joy. Turn it on (snicker) low for 6-8 hours.

Serve with warm rustic bread (brown bread, multigrain, oatmeal brown).

crabmommy said...

fall from grace--you are superfabulous. That recipe sounds divine and please tell Suzanne that the Crabfam is excited to try it. It sounds straight up our alley, and to all you snickering naysayers who mock my crock pot do I say pish posh. I gots me a crock pot and thass'all I care about. (Okay so we all know by next week I will have tossed it into the basement out of ennui...but allow me a brief moment of joy, people! It's so unfamiliar to my system--I am sure it must be good for it. Like an all-liquid cleanse or something similarly dramatic).

laura sue said...

-Your choice of pork cut, enough to fill a third of the pot
-Your choice of BBQ sauce...the whole jar or bottle
-A cup to two of chicken broth.
-Salt, pepper, and whatever else you like...garlic, onion, etc...
-Cook on low all day.

DELISH! I love my crockpot, too.

Karen Stead Baigrie said...

How did we all become to mom-ish and housewifely that we are swapping recipes?! having said that here goes:

For us it is all about pulled pork. Hubby goes nuts every time. A shoulder of pork rubbed with various bbq-esque spices, some apple-cider vinegar poured over it and then left to cook all day. "pull it", add more bbq sauce if desired and slap on a bun or make some mash. Unbelievably good.

Anonymous said...

You can make pulled pork in a crockpot??? Hmmm... I think we got one for our wedding that is gathering dust somewhere. I might have to dig it out.

Amanda said...

bklynmom, laura--thanks a mill; digging those pulled pork recipes. and paula, yes indeedy, I have had delish pulled pork from a crockpot and that's when I got it into my mug to get me one. yumsies.

jwoods said...

Easiest recipe ever: buy a bag of cajun 12-bean soup mix and a smoked ham hock. Then, some morning when it looks like the day might get away from you,you're prepared. Pick any stones or dirt clods out and wash the beans. Put 'em in your beloved crock pot with the ham hock on top,add enough water to cover--you might want to trim any excess fat from the ham hock. Or not. Hack up an onion and crush some garlic and toss them in,too. Throw away the seasoning packet from the bean package. Turn the heat on low.

Hours later, when you finally get a minute, the beans should be smelling great. Stir them up, add cumin and chili powder if you like, or not, and salt if the hock wasn't salty enough.

Cooks with time on their hands may wish to pick the lean pork off of the cooked hock and add it back to the beans.

Goes well with crusty bread or cornbread.

Leann I Am said...

I have the answer to all of your curiosities:

I saw her on Rachael Ray and she's my new HERO!!! I have actually made a few of her recipes and my neighbor has made some too. We love her!!!

Check my blog for pictures and reviews on her recipes!

Leann I Am said...

OH! And welcome to the DARK SIDE....


g.blossom said...

Real Simple magazine often has crock-pottable recipes—check them out online!
We had a crockpot marathon after the birth of number 1. One we like enough to repeat again and again: crock pot curry! Works well if you want to use the pot without a big chunk of meat on hand, and you can start it in the afternoon for dinner that same night (new heights of laziness!)

Green curry paste
Various vegetables
Lentil soup
Frozen peas

(We eyeball amounts based on number of servings desired-- and capacity of pot)
1 Mix packet of green curry paste (or powder, or harvest your own spices and grind with a mortar and pestle, etc) with can(s) of lentil soup. Progresso works well.
2 Chop veggies: potatoes, onions, carrots, cauliflower...
3 Fill pot with veggies; add lentil soup & seasonings; add water to 2/3 cover; stir so lentil paste doesn't lay on bottom.
4 Heat on medium or high until veggies are tender (smaller chunks = faster).
5 Before serving, add a handful of frozen peas to each dish, stir, and serve when warmed. (The peas are sweeter if they don’t cook long)

Anonymous said...

I don't really have a recipe, but I am convinced that cooking with a crockpot is the only way to make palatable, yes even juicy, brisket. I kind of go with what I have in the house - onions and broth and a little bit of mustard or canned tomatoes and some herbs.

For three months after we moved to our current place I cooked exclusively with a crockpot and a wobbly, science lab-type hot plate. And after a 3 year hiatus during which I swore I would never use either cooking aid again I am back with the crock pot and loving it. So yes, I will join the crock pot club and even wear a badge or pin to advertise my membership.

Anonymous said...

just found your blog and am loving reading some of your older posts. just last week i remembered my hubby brought a crock pot into our marriage and it's just been sitting there! i'm not much of a cook but whatever.

anyhow, i actually found this recipe over at cjanerun (nie's sister's blog). so it's copied from there:

"And now I present the Crockpot Cake Recipe. Only, promise me you'll douse it with real cream. Not that fake stuff all whipped up ready for consumption, I mean straight from-the-udder cream.

1 package chocolate cake mix

1 container of sour cream (8 oz)

1 cup chocolate morsels

1 cup water

4 eggs

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1 package instant chocolate pudding mix

Spray crock pot with nonstick cooking spray. Mix cake mix, sour cream, chocolate morsels, water, egss, oil and pudding mix in a bowl by hand. Pour into crock pot. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours. Makes about 12 servings."