Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Crockpot Week

So this week has, unintentionally become the week of the crock-pot in my house.  This past weekend we had the tastiest baked beans that have ever come out of my kitchen with veggie burgers on homemade honey oat buns and something else that I've forgotten at the moment...oh right, baked cajun potato wedges.  Last night we had Mushroom and Green Bean Stroganoff and tonight we're having Potpie with a biscuit crust (recipe can be found below).

Until about a year and a half ago, I think I maybe used the crock-pot twice.  I had been talking about my lack of crock-pot knowledge and how I would really like to use it more often but don't know how to go about using while still depriving it of fleshy stews.  So for my birthday last year a foodie friend of my gave me the book Fresh From The Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson.  Since then I've been utilizing the lovely contraption at least once a month and like this week, sometimes much more.

I think the reason I don't use it more is because I'm, most of the time, a last minute cook.  I wait until 3 or 4 hours before dinner to think about what we're going to have, sometime having to run to the store before the meal is able to be made or on most occasions, the boy calls on his way home from work to ask if we need anything for the nights meal.  So this plan ahead, cook all day so I don't have to concept that I love, has been hard for me to grasp.  The most difficult being the dried beans.  I have really had to work to think far enough in advance to look through the cookbook and decide on a recipe in case I may need to spend the day before soaking beans, the night before cooking beans then the day of the meal, cooking the actual recipe.  I love the idea of spending a dollar or two on a bag of beans (or better yet, buying them in bulk from the co-op) but have the hardest time with "I want it now" syndrome.  I want three bean chili tonight not two days from now. 

So I suppose, spending some quality time with my crock pot is a lesson in patience and planning ahead.  Two virtues that I am glad for the practice to work on but also two virtues that the rest of the country really needs to look at a little closer as well.  Maybe Crock-pot week should be a national holiday, like earth day or grandparents day.  As far as my yearly calender goes, it's official January 11-16th is Crock-pot week and I will enjoy every evening that my crock-pot is cooking and I'm not, relaxing and taking a breather from the past two months of craziness and enjoying some quality time with the boy. 

Here's to Crock-pot week! (and if we're giving toasts, to local beer)!!


  1. I need a crock of these days I'll get there. :) Could you soak and cook beans and then can them for "immediate use" later? I think I'll look into this- canned beans are something we buy alot...and I HATE it.

  2. M. I do usually make a whole bag, which is usually more than what the recipe calls for, then freezer bag the rest. I'll get you a crock-pot if you wanna get me a chest freezer :)