I started out my adult life very excited to own a crock pot. Yes, I really was excited. I put a crock pot on my bridal registry and I was very excited to open a box and find one. Then, I opened another box and there was another. They were different crock pots and since I have a people-pleaser personality, I very quickly let everyone know that two crock pots would be wonderful because I could cook more than one item at the same time. At that time, I really couldn’t imagine ever really needing to make two crock pots full of food. Oh, silly younger self…………..how little did you know back then.
Four kids later, I have had plenty of opportunity to use both crock pots to make chili for our annual Halloween party. I also used them to make stew and a few other recipes, but I primarily used them for special occasion type recipes.
Fast forward now to the start of my family’s Real Food Journey. I was left with the dilemma of working full-time and only having a few minutes to get dinner to the table before we had to run out of the house for activities. I found a few websites which explained that crocking was a great way to toss a few ingredients into the crock pot in the morning and have dinner ready when I got home from work. This sounded like a fantastic idea to me!
Remember, I already owned two crock pots so I grabbed some recipes and got to work making them on my busiest evenings. The plan was working, but my meals were tasting a little overcooked due to my long days. I was about ready to give up on crocking when I discovered that there were programmable crock pots. Programmable crock pots allow you to set the hours the crock pot cooks and then when it is done cooking, it switches to warm until you are ready to eat. Well, this sounded great to me, but I already owned two crock pots. Did I really need to own three? You BETCHA! I am now the proud owner of three crock pots which I usually use at least twice a week. My husband encouraged me to go ahead and buy it since I felt it would be a help for our busy schedule. My programmable crock pot has found a permanent home in my tiny kitchen. I’ve got my eye on a smaller one now………….for desserts. And Mother’s Day is coming if anyone wants to drop a hint to my family.
Why have I fallen in love with my crock pot again? It is really an efficient way to cook. Toss everything into one pot and walk away. I also like that I can use a wide range of Real Food ingredients. I can make everything from soups, to rice dishes, to pastas and sauces. Two of our favorites are sloppy joe’s and salsa chicken tacos. My crock pot also makes lots and lots of applesauce in the Fall.
I always make large batches in my crock so I have lots of leftovers for another meal. We eat the leftovers a lot for lunch. I actually plan to have leftovers when I prepare my food plan. I also like to freeze soups for another day. I find it very satisfying when I can simply go to my freezer and pull out a meal already to go. Crock pot cooking really is perfect for this busy Momma. I encourage you to give crocking a try…………even if you have tried it before and given up on it. Crock pot cooking is my new fast food.
In my next episode, I will discuss the ins and outs of crock pot cooking. A little crock pot education goes a long way to making things easier and tastier. Check back later this week for my Juggling Crock Pot 101. It was not enough for me to declare I was going to feed my family Real Food. I actually had to come up with a plan to make that happen. The crock pot really has been a huge part of my success along my Real Food Journey.
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