Brooding On

Is it True Love?

"By the time you reach a certain age, you know that you are not supposed to love things.  Oh, sure, you can admire a masterful sculpture or a gorgeous piece of jewelry or a beautifully crafted table or lamp or chair; you can admire -- uh, even rely on -- particular over-the-counter medications or types of wine.  But you don't love those things.  You love the people in your life (and, speaking from experience, certain extraordinary pets).  Reaching the stage of maturity when you know love is for people and admiration is for things is a moment of growth and wisdom.

"And yet . . . I really do love my slow cooker.  I have tried hard to convince myself that what I feel for my slow cooker is not love but reliance.  Devotion.  Deep admiration.  But I'm embarrassed to admit that I think it's truly love.  And I can't make it stop."  -- from Kristin van Ogtrop's "Editor's Note" in this month's Real Simple (an excellent magazine that you should check out if you haven't yet done so)

I have recently rediscovered my own slow cooker.  For a few years, it hibernated undisturbed in the dark recesses of my cabinet.  But, once I tried my first pot of beans in it and was able to devote the critical 4:00 hour to homework, card games, laundry, and storybook reading time, I started to wonder how many other ways I could use a Crock pot. 

A quick Google of "slow cooker recipes" clued me in to the seemingly endless supply of recipes compiled by others who may have borderline-inappropriate relationships with their own slow cookers. 

So, for this week of Valentine's and in honor of my slow cooker and the special place it has come to hold in my heart, I declare this next week Slow Cooker Week at my house, and I plan to chronicle our week here on the blog.  So, whether you too are secretly harboring feelings for your slow cooker or you can't imagine what all the fuss is about, check back in throughout the week to see what recipes we've tried, how they've gone over with my picky brood, and what things we were able to do in the hours leading up to dinner that don't involve chopping, mixing, preheating, or broiling.  :)