Slow Cooking is Still Cooking
Just so y’all know, Stephen’s nose is looking excellent but now he’s got himself a big fat fever. I spent the evening wondering how in the world I’m ever going to have kids if I freak out about a 102 fever on a 25 year old man. In fact, this is on auto-post because I’ve spent most of the evening Googling his symptoms and am pretty concerned and I’m not sure what we’ll be doing in the morning. I don’t tell you this so you can be all, “Oh Chelsea, you’ll be a great mom.” No. I tell you this because this is my blog and I can be real with you.
One of the greatest parts of having a blog is that I get to tell you ridiculous things that happen to me and somehow they become less embarrassing. Usually you can relate. You often say, “That’s not so bad. One time I…” and somehow I don’t feel like quite an idiot. We work together, you and me. We complete each other.
Another great thing about having a blog is that you read it and you often give me feedback. You’ve told me how to cut my hair, where to buy a dress, how to paint my wood paneling, what books to read. You guys are full of good info. So don’t let me down today. No pressure…
I’m back on my crock pot kick. The moods come and go. I find that I fall more in love with my crock pot when winter approaches. It’s cool outside (seriously, it’s in the 70’s today) and it’s dark when I get home from work. There is something so comforting about walking into a warm house that smells like a home cooked meal. Sometimes I feel like saying, “Splendid! The housekeeper must’ve left dinner in the oven for us. She’s such a peach!” And it’s a great feeling until I remember that I don’t have a housekeeper and I don’t say “peach” unless we’re talking about cobbler or Bellini’s. But it’s actually even better that the meal is from my crock pot because I still get credit for making a rocking dinner!
Last week Lauren told me about an easy peasy meal that she and her husband have. She throws a few chicken breasts into a crock pot, seasons them with Lawry’s, and then puts salsa on top. After a day of slow cooking you shred it up with two forks and make yourself some fantastic soft tacos. I made these last week and they were awesome. Unfortunately I made them on a day when Stephen was still learning how to eat, so I had to make him a taco salad. He said it was good but I could tell he didn’t get the full effect. I decided I’d make them again this week.
Massive failure commenced in my kitchen.
You always hear about young brides who are learning to cook and ruin a ton of food. They either undercook things or they burn them. Or they add salt instead of sugar. Or use a tablespoon instead of a teaspoon. Up until a couple weeks ago, I couldn’t relate. I never make those mistakes. I know how to cook. But recently I’ve been burning food. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, maybe I’m too comfortable in the kitchen so I’ve started experimenting more. I don’t know. But Monday night was the worst of the worst.
Monday morning I threw two seasoned chicken breasts in the crock. I put a bit of salsa on top and plugged it in. As I was doing this I thought, “I wonder if I should put 4 in there. They say you’re supposed to make sure your crock pot is mostly full. Hmmm… it may be fine. But I wonder if it makes a difference that I defrosted them. Last week I didn’t. It may cook faster. Oh well, I’ll give it a shot.”
I may never, ever give anything a shot ever again. We walked into the house on Monday evening and something didn’t smell right. My mouth didn’t water. I didn’t have the desire to scorch my tongue by eating straight from the crock pot. I opened the lid. Stephen yelled, “NO WAY! Oh my gosh! Cool!” They were charred. They were shriveled up and hard as a rock. The salsa was burnt to the sides of the pot. It was terrible. Horrible. I was sad and embarrassed and royally pissed off.
I got in the kitchen and made us some breakfast tacos. I cursed the crock pot and went to Bible Study to whine about my misfortune and pray for the mental health of my crock pot. Then I came home and began the marinade for my brisket I was going to throw in the pot the next day.
Tuesday was a bit better. The brisket cooked an appropriate amount of time and smelled excellent. Stephen loved it but I was underwhelmed. I mean, I’m a Texas girl so I believe there is really no such thing as bad brisket unless it’s bone dry. That’s just illegal. But I know I can make a better brisket.
That’s where y’all come in. I need some recipes, brisket and other. Now I’m a firm believer that beggars can’t be choosers, but I’ve got some guidelines here. I’d like crock pot recipes. They need to be easy and TRUE crock pot recipes – None of that saute this, bake that, then let it heat in the crock. No, I need something I can throw together in the morning and leave for 9 hours. Also, I only want recipes that you’ve made. I don’t want to know recipe websites, I have plenty of those. Something that you have made and love. Got it? Post it in the comments or on your blog or give us a link!
Help a girl out before she has a breakdown!