I love to cook. Mostly because I like to eat. I'm a bit of a foodie, but have also been known to take a box of Wheat Thins and a bowl of green olives and wasabi, soy almonds to bed for dinner. Followed by a handful of M&Ms. Yes, there's wine in there somewhere.
I think slow cooking is under utilized today. It's convenient and the recipes have improved since the days of a can of tomatoes, 1/2 cup of water, a sliced potato and onion thrown on top of a chuck roast. Check out the book Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker for some great recipes.
I've been eyeing the Porsche of slow cookers for the past couple of years. I've owned a few different brands and have been disappointed in all of them. If I had just purchased the Porsche originally, I wouldn't have wasted time and money on the inferior slow cookers. I convinced Chris that I would cook beautiful, nutritious meals EVERY night if I had the dream machine.
I finally bought it. The All-Clad Deluxe Slow Cooker was difficult to carry to my car, but I managed. I waddled like a rat who had found a food scrap half the size of his body, but there was no way the treasure would be dropped. Impossible. I loved it so much I left it in the box in our kitchen pantry for weeks, wanting it to remain unspoiled for a while. When I unpacked it I found a safe, special spot for it so it wouldn't get damaged or fingerprinted by the boys foraging for pantry crap.
I used it for the first time recently. I tested all it's functions, browned the meat on the stove, sauteed veggies, then tossed the remaining ingredients in and cooked on low for several hours. No extra pans to clean! The LOW setting was actually low, and not the same as HIGH like my prior slow cookers. I carefully cleaned the All-Clad Deluxe Slow Cooker so it looked brand new, and placed it in it's safe, special spot. It's remained fingerprint and scratch-free ever since.
My neighbor called this morning.
"Hi, Chris. Sorry to call so early, but I need to borrow a crock-pot. Do you have one?"
Oh no! What do I do? What do I say? I'm crazy. This is crazy. It's just a slow cooker - a crock-pot - you have to loan it to her. But, wait... What if she's using it for a church function? Those LDS ward gatherings are a zoo! There are always a million kids and pudgy, careless dads who don't know that if they use the wrong serving utensil, they'll scratch the appliance. But Mormons are so kind and giving. She'd loan her new All-Clad Deluxe Slow Cooker to ANYONE. She knows I'm not Mormon though - she'll expect less from me...
"I do have a crock-pot. A new one, actually."
"Would you rather I not use it?"
"Well... I hate to ask this, but is it for a church function?"
"Um... no. I'm having my parents over and wanted to keep some pre-prepared soup warm in it. But I don't want to borrow it if..." [Thank God, she's not actually preparing food in it. That's better.]
"No-no-no. Please, let me explain." Then I babbled about the new slow cooker, how it was the Porsche of all brands and I'd wanted it forever but felt guilty spending that much money on it, and how I had just given my old crock-pots to Supermodel [a neighbor, friend and one of my workout partners] because she wanted them for church functions, like funerals, etc..., and I'm sure she would loan them - just for future reference.
"I'm happy to loan it to you!" I lied.
My neighbor is coming over shortly to pick up the All-Clad Deluxe Slow Cooker. The one that I've dreamed of and is clean, fingerprint and scratch-free. I'm a wreck. I need to call my therapist, or a friend, or not answer the door when she knocks...