So, last week I got a crockpot! I had one that we inherited from A.’s parents, but it breathed its last awhile back. (I decided it was dead after more than one failed recipe, i.e. completely raw meat after cooking all day. And of course one of these happened when company was coming over. But I digress.) I had been hemming and hawing, as I am wont to do, over what brand, style, and size to get, but last weekend I found a good deal on Amazon and just went for it. So far it has not disappointed!

The first thing I tried was a pot roast. I tried to make a pot roast the traditional way once and learned the hard way that a stockpot does not equal a dutch oven. Picture a giant mass of basically boiled meat. Yeah. But I found a small-ish roast on manager’s special last weekend at Kroger for about $4.00 and decided to give it a shot the slowcooker way. I followed a recipe from my All Recipes Dinner Spinner app called “easiest pot roast ever” (I kid you not). I chopped up potatoes and celery the night before, and then in the morning before I went to work I added some baby carrots as well. I placed 3 beef bouillon cubes on the roast (which was atop the vegetables) and poured 1/2 cup of water over it. I set it to low and headed to work. Given my previous unreliable crockpot, I was nervous about it all day. I was afraid I would either come home to a raw mass of beef OR to an apartment burnt to a crisp. What I came home to, instead, was a delicious aroma in the air and an amazingly tender roast! I boiled up some egg noodles and we enjoyed a tasty dinner. There were way too many potatoes, but I ended up re-warming them in the toaster oven with some melted cheese for a side dish on another night. Crockpot success!

I also made a crockpot potato soup last week. It was pretty good–not amazing, but through no fault of the crockpot’s! I’ll probably explore for some better soup recipes to fall back on.

I have had one fail so far. Saturday night I put together an overnight crockpot oatmeal including some diced apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and milk. It had what to me seemed like an awfully small amount of oats and an awfully large amount of liquid. Sure enough, I woke up to a bubbling pot of brown, murky liquid in which there were maybe 3 discernible oats and no discernible apples. Plus, it had caked on to the sides of the stoneware really bad. I forced myself to eat some, but it was everything I hate about oatmeal. A., who is an oatmeal fanatic, wouldn’t even eat it, so we threw the rest away. Ah well. Live and learn. And again, it was not the crockpot’s fault.

In short, I am excited to have a working crockpot and have so many recipes I want to try! In fact, there might be too many….it’s a bit overwhelming. What are your favorite things to cook in the crockpot?

Laura Lindeman

Laura Lindeman