Nothing good comes out of a crock pot.
Okay, I should say, almost nothing.
I tried. I really did.
I wanted it to work. Because, what’s easier than throwing a bunch of food in a pot and it cooking itself? (Yes, yes, yes, takeout. Besides that.)
You can probably surmise based on the top de la muffin I sport that I’m far from picky. I’ll try almost anything. I’ll eat almost anything. And with my own cooking? My expectations are low. Lowwwwww. I mean it. Low.
Truth time? My cooking skills are roughly somewhere between third grade cooking class and wayward bachelor (Yay for me I have a husband who is a fantastic cook! Or boo? It’s not so great for the muffin top. But me thinks I just found my scapegoat….)
Despite this, I’ve always felt confident I could rise to the challenge of throwing a bunch of stuff in a pot, turning it on and opening the lid 8 hours later. It’s practically magic!
It would seem the crock pot should be the unsung hero of the household appliance line up. I mean, I haven’t found an appliance that will clean my toilets for me. I haven’t found a gadget that will make my beds or do my laundry. (Super smart inventors? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?) So, some may say I’m sounding just a little ungrateful to a low cost, user friendly machine that will quietly cook my family dinner for me.
But see, here’s my glitch: unless you’re making some kind of pulled meat barbeque or a hot dip, or using the crock pot merely as a vehicle in which to heat something up (ie. mini meatballs…um…yummm), nothing good comes out of a crock pot. If you’re trying to make any kind of balanced meal with some kind of protein, starch, and vegetables that tastes yummy—-good luck. It ain’t happening. I mean, it’ll happen. But it won’t be good. Trust me. I so want to like crock pot meals, that I’ve tried and tried. But it’s just not possible to achieve anything edible for anyone who has teeth. While I’m no gourmet aficionado, I just really don’t want my carrots to taste like meat and have the consistency of a mashed potato. Meat flavored carrots, even ones that cook themselves, are unwelcome in my world.
I finally realized, the only time I made an actual meal in the crock pot that tasted good, the recipe required me to sauté the meat before I put it in the crock pot and mix all kinds of crazy wines and seasonings. (It was from Cooking Light magazine. Once again, I ask you why I am not skinny? This crock pot recipe, while low fat and delicious, was like a 24 step process that had me in a flux before the sun even came up! Way to work with me Cooking Light!) How does having to sauté meat on an empty stomach before I’ve even had my coffee make dinner preparations easier? No one should be sautéing meat before Matt and Meredith greet them from Rockefeller Plaza!
(Even having to just throw raw ingredients into the crock pot at the pre coffee hour I’m flirting with disaster, to speak nothing of it being beyond unpalatable. We know I’m not coordinated, and morning is just not my thing….so I shouldn’t have been surprised when I was peeking at my crock pot dish the other afternoon and realized one of my pieces of stew meat was a rim shot that missed, hit the counter and sat out all day. Ack! That is off the charts gross!) Hi Lysol, you better call for some back up…..
And is it really practical for people who are trying to get to work or get kids off to school to have to be cooking stuff at the crack? The whole selling point of the crocko de potto is that you can set it and forget it—dump your goods and hit it. And frankly, if I have to cook stuff in a pan, I’d really rather do it at like 6 PM and not 6 AM! And if I have to cook stuff in a pan, I might as well cook it all the way in the pan because it will taste better than the freaky crock pot mush I’ve been coming up with!
Every single time I attempt the full on crock pot dinner, I fool myself into thinking the meal will look like the picture on the recipe or seasoning packet. And as the day wears on and wonderful smells waft through my house and trick my brain into thinking sheer deliciousness is in my future, I realize once I open the lid, it’s all a sham. A lie. A scam. A fraud. A big, fat crock pot crock of mushy crockpottyiness. (Oh and p.s. Should you not heed my warning and still insist on getting your crock pot on, please be advised when you do open that lid, that the steamy meat facial which awaits….. is not so fun and not so glam. Cough up the cash and get your facial at a spa!)
When my husband reached for some frozen veggies in the freezer as I took plates out for the latest crock pot concoction, I decided it was time to accept defeat.
“What are you doing?”
“I just thought I’d microwave some veggies to go with our dinner,” he replied innocently.
“There are veggies in the dinner!”
Game over crock pot. Pack up your cord and go. You ain’t welcome here anymore.