Nana's Knitting Shop

Knitting tales of a lifelong knitter
and yarn shop owner.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

What a Crock!

So, I just bought my very first crock pot. I know it's odd to have reached this ripe old age and to have never owned a crock pot. Crock pots, I've always been told, allow you to buy cheap cuts of meat that will taste great after hours and hours of stewing.

I've always thought that crock pots were for youngsters starting out, youngsters that have no money and no time. I always had enough time to cook and I like to cook. I've also been very fortunate to have always been able to buy the food I wanted to cook and not have to cook it to death in order for it to taste good.

That's until now. Until I became The Entrepreneur. I love that word - entrepreneur - it sounds so glamorous, so self important, so rich. I mean who do you think of when you think of entrepreneurs? I think of Estee Lauder, Annie Blatt, Martha Stewart, Coco Chanel, Bill Gates.

Entrepreneurs work hard, really hard and they're almost always hungry. Hungry for the next sale, the next big deal, hungry to take their enterprise to the next level. What I didn't know is that Entrepreneurs are hungry. Literally hungry; hungry all the time.

This little entrepreneur, at least, is always starving! Being at the Shop twelve hours a day makes for a long food day. How many sandwiches can one eat, after all? How many Lean Cuisines, how many bowls of Ramen noodles, how many left overs?

Since I opened the Shop I've been eating like a college kid, warming up something fast in the microwave, and eating endless bowls of cereal. I've tried cooking over the weekend, but by Wednesday, I'm sick to death of whatever I've made.

And then there's the Prince. Poor, poor Prince. He'll starve rather than cook. "I don't even know where to begin," he laments.

And so, on Cory's suggestion, I bought a crock pot. She suggested that I put something in the crock pot when I get home and voila, by morning I'd have a delicious something or other cooked and ready to go.

I even bought a cook book - Not your Mother's Slow Cooking Cookbook. My mother never had a crock pot either, but I figured if it wasn't a mother's slow cooking cookbook, some mother's slow cooking recipes, it had to be good. The title implied to me that the recipes in this cookbook would be modern somehow, crispy, not crock pot mush; spicy and fresh, not bland and dead.

On Wednesday, I cooked my very first ever crock pot dish! I decided to cook a pork roast and I followed the instructions to a tee. I added all the ingredients, put the crock pot on low and went to bed.

I lay in bed thinking about the great meal I was going to have the next day without doing a thing. It was so easy throwing stuff into a pot and turning it on; nothing to do but sleep away the cooking hours and wake to dinner!

And wake I did, at 4:30 in the morning. It was the smell that woke me up. And, it smelled not like pork roast, but hot dogs. And I've got to be honest here, it really grossed me out. I'm not crazy about the smell of hot dogs to begin with, but at 4:30 in the morning and upon coming out of a coma-like sleep, it was downright nauseating.

Needless to say, I didn't go back to sleep, but got up and took a little peek into the crock pot. It looked okay, but since the recipe said to cook it for 8-10 hours, I still had hours to wait.

The appointed time finally arrived and even though I was queasy, I was still optimistic at the outcome. I even cooked some rice to go with!

I pulled the roast out, let it rest a while and cut. It fell away under the knife and I thought, "Okay, not a nice sliced pork roast to go with my rice, but it will be a pulled pork sandwich which still might be pretty good."

I proudly told the Prince that dinner was waiting for him in the refrigerator, packed barbeque sauce along with my roast and off I went.

In all fairness to my new crock pot, by the time I ate my pulled pork sandwich, I was pretty tired. I'd been up since 4:30 after all. But, it was truly awful, inedible really, but I was very hungry.

It was dry, oh so dry. Dust bowl dry. Tumbleweed dry. No amount of barbeque sauce could save it dry.

When I came home, the Prince was dousing it in mayonnaise which turned my stomach all over again.

I'm not giving up; I won't cook pork again in my crock pot and the crock pot will have to be in the basement with the door closed. Smelling dinner at the crack of dawn is downright foul and I need my beauty rest.

The extra hours weren't unproductive, however. I finished another square!


Blogger ShopDaughter said...

Oh mama. Don't give up yet. Crockpots are GREAT for stews and chilis (your chicken chili recipe would kick butt in a crock)! Whole chickens are great, too. You won't get slices, but it will be moist and fall off the bone! I will let you borrow MY crockpot cookbook and give you some pointers. ;)

9:42 AM  
Anonymous Rebecca said...

I adore my crockpot! I make all sorts of soups and stews and things in it. French Onion Soup is a favorite. So is Red Beans and Rice. If you put beef ribs in and a bottle of BBQ sauce, you have heaven in 6-8 hours.

Don't give up on your crockpot! They are one of the best things on earth.

10:55 AM  
Blogger Knitterary said...

We'll have to trade crock pot tips next time I come into the shop. Some things are much, much better in the crock pot. As soon as the weather turns cool, my crock pot is permanently parked on my counter!

11:02 PM  

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