Monday, February 17, 2014

Crockpot Glop

If you read my blog back in the Dark Ages (2008), you might remember the story about my ex-wife who, when she moved out, took all but two of the cookbooks with her.  One of those two cookbooks she left was a "slow cooker" cookbook, which led me to discover that I had a crockpot! (See part two of that post, "Bachelor Feed, Part Two: Return of the Crockpot." Also see how tiny my beer bottle collection was back then:

Compare that to now:

It's grown so much.  [sniff]

Well, a lot has happened in my life since then.  (See every blog post from 2009 - 2014.)

In the past five years I've changed a lot of the ways that I shop, cook, and eat.  Now I buy food at farmer's markets, co-ops, and Whole Foods. I've learned to make my own granola bars, croutons, and avocado spread. I eat salad, fruits or veggies almost every day.  Arugula is on my weekly shopping list, for Granola's Sake!

I can barely recognize that newly divorced Tim from 2008.


When we moved in together last summer, Katherine discovered my crockpot.  (Yes, I still have the same crockpot from my first marriage.  Is that wrong?)  And she is determined to put it to good use.  We've made three or four things in it over the past few months.  But they've all been huge disappointments.  I think it's because my tastes have changed.

As I wrote back in 2008: "A crockpot is something you throw a bunch of ingredients into and then let it cook all day and make your house smell like food. What a brilliant invention."  It still makes the kitchen smell nice, but it turns out that putting high-quality, fresh ingredients into a pot and cooking them all day takes all the flavor out of them.  Despite all the spices we throw in there, the food that comes out seems listless and bland.

So my theory is that crockpot cooking is not compatible with the crunchy granola organic local (expensive) diet we enjoy.  Crockpot recipes involve ingredients that are canned or frozen or otherwise, uh, cheap. You can't replace those things with fresh local foods and expect them to taste as good.  Because the crockpot will cook the hell out of whatever you put in there.

Katherine is not convinced.  She keeps looking through crockpot cookbooks (that she makes me check out of my library) to find recipes that will work.  Last week we tried another dish: something with chicken and wild rice and veggies that looked promising.  At the end of 8 hours in the crockpot, it sure made the kitchen smell good.

But what came out was bland gray glop:

Chicken and Rice Glop: it's what's for dinner.

It wasn't bad.  It certainly nourished our bodies.  It just wasn't... great.  We didn't look forward to eating it, so the leftovers sort of hung around in the fridge, getting passed over for other stuff.  As of this writing, it's still there.

So my theory remains.  The crockpot is no longer relevant to the way we cook and eat.  I thought this last batch of glop had convinced Katherine, too, until I caught her this morning online at the library website.  She was looking at yet another crockpot cookbook.

Not even an Act of Glop can deter her.    

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