phrench_phried (phrench_phried) wrote in girl_bait,

A Crock

I want to become a crock pot / slow cooker god.  The other day I made split pea soup using this recipe. I got up about 45 minutes early for work, threw everything in the cooker and at 7PM there was dinner.  I made some croutons.  The Marital Support Unit was quite pleased with the outcome (she said it was a tad too salty).  The polliwogs scarfed it down without complaining.  I got to thinking....

The crock pot is a pretty cool way to cook as long as everything doesn't turn out soggy and tasteless like my Mom's beef stew.  First of all, I don't have to do any real cooking when I get home from work.  Secondly, since drinking and cooking seem to go hand in hand with me, I'm less likely to become inebriated before I even sit down at the table (I'm not a 7AM drinker yet). 

The problems are many:  First, all of the recipes I find say say hi for x-hours or low for x-hours and my cooker has three settings, hi, med, and low.  If you arrive at the moment when dinner is supposed to be dinner and it's not yet, it's hard to catch up when stuff has been cooking all day.  On the flip-side, I also tried to make ribs one time and I ended up with bare white bones floating in a kind of ultra-fatty barbecue-flavored soup.  A little experience has lead me to believe that the three settings on my crock pot are actually:

nuclear meltdown, normal, and pilot light / placebo. 

After five or so attempts, I'm just starting to maybe get the hang of this but not really.  I'm wondering if there's a standard temperature for high and low crock pot cooking and if I could measure mine....

The second but far from the last problem is finding good recipes.  I really wanted to make tasty bean dishes from actual beans, the kind you put in bags that you throw and stacks of cans to win crappy stuffed parrots that were assembled by Chinese child laborers, not the kind that was put in a can by an underpaid union worker with a room temperature I.Q.  It seems like the vast majority of bean dishes I find on the netz call for pre-cooked, pre-canned beans.   Kinda defeats the purpose doesn't it?  I want recipes that are Martha Stewart fantastic and not just of the soup-esqe order!

The other problems are probably minor and will surely work themselves out with practice.  If you love your slow-cooker, I'd sure like to hear your crock.
Tags: crock pot, slow cooker, split pea
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