Just a thought… Winter is the time for comfort. For good food and warmth. It is the time for home. [Edith Sitwell]
If you are among those who pop by my public Facebook page, first off, thank you. I post daily reminders about the journal there, as well as the odd picture and comment. Last week, I managed to get quite a bit of feedback when I posted a recipe I found on HuffPo for slow cooker macaroni and cheese.
A few things about that. I have fallen back in love with my Crock-Pot and it’s not just because winter weather makes me want to break up with salads permanently and just dive into comfort food. It’s because for years I could only haul it out on weekends.
Why? Okay, you’re going to think this is nuts, but the smell of food in the slow cooker while we were trying to nap was a form of delicious torture. It actually prevented Rob and me from getting good afternoon sleep. So that’s why we can embrace it now. And there’s also the fact that I have so much more time. I’m not getting up half dazed at 4 pm and trying to throw something together for dinner. That was life for some 30 years. Now I have the luxury of planning ahead, of anticipating the dinner that awaits.
Now to the recipes. I posted that mac and cheese assuming that, because of its link, it was going to be just fine. Well, I found out the hard way that I should check the veracity of recipes as closely as I do news stories when I post or link. Why? Because the ingredients pictured in the link – from which I did my grocery shopping – varied from the ingredients that ended up going in her “revised” recipe. I ended up improvising, with wonderful results, but I was not amused with the bait and switch that seemed to be going on.
Don’t get me wrong – when it comes to cooking, I’m all about improvising. It’s why I found a clam chowder recipe online for the slow cooker that ended up being a pretty wonderful seafood chowder concoction once I finished with it. But it’s also why I rarely share my own recipes, as there’s so much creativity happening that isn’t on the page and I would never want to lead you astray.
So here’s a link to a fantastic article I found yesterday. Eight ways to make you love your slow cooker even more, from a self-cleaning method to ways to prevent chicken breasts from drying out. I hope you’ll find these as helpful and inspiring as I did. Happy home cooking!