Last year, for my birthday, my parents got me a Crock Pot:
It would be correct to say I was less than thrilled. However, never wanting to show anything but gratitude for a gift, I hope, and the fact that it was red, and I love when kitchen items are pretty colors, I kept it. (And I'm pretty sure Daddy picked out the red.)
Mom said it would be so easy to just throw a few things in in the morning, leave it all day, and then come home to a meal. Let's see about that...
I have to admit, compared to my other forays into cooking, it has been rather easy. And I've grown quite fond of the little contraption and the goodness it has brought me. I tend to make a lot of appetizer-type foods, which are my favorite type of food, as well as some soups and stews. It's really just good for someone like me, of the "never preheat-cook everything on 450-burn is just a variation on well done-what the hell is mince" school of cooking, to put everything in at once and leave.
Throw a few things in
Except, I'm really not the type who can just "throw" something together - whether it be ingredients, an outfit, or an assignment. All my meals require scouring for a recipe, making a detailed grocery list, and then making 15 laps of the grocery store trying to get everything I need.
Even then I still have trouble, since this is me. I made a chipotle chicken stew for the brother last month that miraculously came together despite my not knowing the real difference between chicken breasts and thighs. (I came uncomfortably close to asking the guy beside me at Safeway the difference between breasts and thighs. I then imagined how that would sound, the kinds of answers I would receive, and laughed to myself.)
Leave it all day
The idea of leaving an appliance on in my rented apartment for 10+ hours while I'm away, terrifies me. I'm just not sure my renter's insurance covers death by slow cooker. Thus I tend to make my meals on Sundays and eat off them all week. Coming home to leftovers on Monday is less nice than sitting down to a freshly-cooked meal on Sunday, but it's certainly better than chicken nuggets and french fries for the 9,000th time.
Come home to a meal
As has been made clear here: I hate to cook and I'm not good at it. I especially hate paying for food, going through all the effort and money to cook for one person, and maybe not like it but still eat it for a week. So all in all the little crock pot that could, and the handy box o' recipes the parents also gave me, has been perfect. (And, no, I'm not the only one who eats what I make. Others have tried things as well and they've yet to stop being my friend, or die.)
Tonite's meal is Brown Sugar Chicken, my first attempt at just "throwing" whole pieces of chicken in and letting it do its thing.
However, lest ye think the slow cooker has cured all my cooking calamities, it has not. I had trouble with the meat part since I didn't know if my three pieces of chicken were equal to the six half-pieces called for in the recipe. I decided there was a 75% chance it was, and stopped halving the recipe, which was good since I forgot I was halving, and at one point had to scrape off some brown sugar and black pepper. I also, as you can tell from the picture, couldn't quite manage the "chop and smash" of garlic, either. But this is all still an improvement from last month when I tried to weigh chicken using the bathroom scale.
I'm sure everyone's just dying to eat at my place now, right?
The finished product. Really tender and juicy and it fell right off the metaphorical bone. (It was boneless chicken, I'm not sure what the correct phrasing is here.) I don't think I'll mind eating this all week.