Slow Cooker vs. Alicia – Round 5
That I’ve been unable to master an appliance as all-American and basic as the slow cooker does not sit well. Isn’t this the machine that revolutionized modern weeknight cooking for hordes of busy working families? I make my own stock. One time, I made pop tarts. From scratch. Hell, I’ve even made cheese. Cheese, people. Right here in my own kitchen. None of these items is difficult to make, mind you. But the point is I know my way around the kitchen. So losing round after round to a machine for which the cooking method is simply an “on” button has been, well, a blow.
Perhaps the problem is that I’ve been focused on finding recipes made for the slow cooker. What I really should be thinking about is what I want to eat – then finding ways to make it in the slow cooker. Big difference. I stumbled upon this book written by a woman who used her slow cooker every day for a whole year. She made everything from oatmeal to soups to play dough and soap. Soap?! I found the recipe for these terrific chili lime sweet potatoes in her simply written, easy to follow book.
And as for making my own stock? My friend and fellow Washingtonian Cathy Barrow (aka Mrs. Wheelbarrow) made this suggestion in last week’s Washington Post Food section – make a hearty chicken stock overnight in the slow cooker. Brilliant, Cathy. I wish I’d thought of that myself.