Thanks for all of the comments and discussion on the last post. I always find it intriguing to hear both sides of an argument, and I can definitely see where some of you are coming from regarding the Eminem song. I feel maybe a bit less adamantly harsh toward it in light of other opinions, and I have to admit some respect for Eminem and Rhianna for speaking out on such a controversial topic.

That said, I am totally changing gears here to talk Crock Pot. I somehow doubt this will elicit as much dialogue, but who knows? Perhaps I will be surprised.

I currently am feeling utterly disillusioned with my Crock Pot. It is a very, erm, retro contraption, with the great 90s kitchenware flowers. You know the ones I'm talking about:

Yeahhhh. It was a hand-me-over from my in-laws, who have upgraded to something a bit more like this:

What a difference ten years makes. But either way, I was glad to have it, and, with the recent onset of cold weather, had gotten super excited about all of the uber convenient things I could throw into it and having steaming and ready to eat upon my arrival home from work, which now unfortunately occurs post-sunset (thanks Daylight Savings).

I had played with the Crock Pot some earlier in the year. Inspired by a friend, I bought some sort of pork lump (a shoulder, or a butt, one of those) and thrown it in with an onion and some water. After it cooked all day and become succulent and shreddable, I attacked with a fork and threw it back into heat up with some barbecue sauce. It was delish. But then I tried said recipe a second time, and it utterly failed. At the time, I blamed it on the fact that I had bought a different cut of pork (which is not surprising, since I clearly didn't even know what I had bought the first time!). But also, at some point in the day, the Crock Pot did something strange, because when I came to check on it, the meat was, uh, NOT COOKED. So I turned it on high, which I blamed for making the meat a weird texture.

The question remains: what happened with the Crock Pot?

Well, I remained unscathed, or else just forgot about the incident, and yesterday was excited to prepare a chicken stew from a seemingly easy recipe from (Classy, I know.) My mother-in-law was attending an evening concert at church with Hubby and me, and I wanted a delicious fall meal waiting for us when we returned. However, due to an impromptu social lunch with friends after morning church, I did not get the ingredients (which I had even pre-cut the night before) into the pot as early as I had intended. So, I put it on high instead of low for a few hours, turned it back down before leaving for the concert, and assumed all would be well.

Au contraire.

After the concert, I came home and stirred the concoction. The chicken was cooked, but the potatoes and carrots were still hard as can be! Plus, since the chicken had essentially boiled in the broth, it had left little grosslets floating around. Not only was the stew not cooked, but it looked disgusting to boot.

LUCKILY, dinner was salvaged because I had cooked a quiche that afternoon intending it for Monday's dinner, so I just pulled it out and threw together a salad, while the stew continued (not) cooking for a replacement Monday dinner.

By bedtime the vegetables were still not done, at which point I gave up and ladled the mess into a giant container to be dealt with later.

So today I am left with two questions, with which I now challenge all of you:
1) Is my Crock Pot busted, and
2) What can I do with a large amount of semi-uncooked, grosslet-filled chicken stew?

Laura Lindeman

Laura Lindeman