Be Like the Crockpot

Think about the last meal you ate out of a crockpot.

If you’re having trouble, I’ll spoil the surprise for you: it was delicious.

It’s the most underrated kitchen appliance. No meal you associate with it can possibly turn out bad.

Pot roast?

Heaven.

Soup?

Makes Progresso look like an amateur.

Chili?

Doesn’t matter if it’s over nachos, rice, or straight into my hands, it’s amazing.

You could put the remnants of a compost heap in a slow cooker for eight hours and it probably wouldn’t even turn out bad. Throw it over some mashed potatoes, you’ve got an eco-friendly Sunday dinner.

And not only does it taste good, it creates multiple meals you can save up. If there’s ever an apocalypse, with only enough energy left over to fuel one thing in your house, you’d use the slow cooker. “Well, zombies may have overtaken the neighborhood, but at least I’ll have enough beef bouringnon to last the rest of this decade.”

Which brings me to the only drawback of the slow cooker…

It’s…umm…slow.

Every other cooking device is designed for speed. Not the crockpot. The crockpot is always going to take it’s sweet ass time. While the microwave is busting it’s ass trying to get you your leftovers heated up in record time, the crockpot’s picking it’s teeth saying, “Nah…you’ll wait.”

There’s a bigger lesson there. They say good things come to those who wait, and nowhere is that more prevalent than when you make a meal out of a crockpot.

Think about what you use the slow cooker for compared to what you use the other, quicker devices for:

Crockpot: glazed pork ribs with white beans.

Microwave: last night’s pizza.

Crockpot: a hearty beef and vegetable-based stew that tastes like Sunday dinners back home.

Microwave: Marie Callender’s ice-block beef stroganoff.

Crockpot: Korean barbeque, with a side of perfectly spiced cabbage and pickles.

Microwave: a Hot Pocket.

They’re like a food time capsule: they give you a glimpse into what you were hungry for 8 hours ago in the past, before you left for work. It’s the only appliance where you start your task looking one way and might be unrecognizable by the end. If I ever started a slow cooker recipe website, I’d include blog posts on it like “How to Trim the Long, White Beard You Grew While You Were Waiting for the Chorizo to Finish Up.” Or maybe, “Now That You’re Enjoying the Dinner You Started Cooking 15 Years Ago, Here’s How to Manage that Pesky Osteoperosis.”

And you better be DAMN SURE you want whatever it is you’re preparing to cook, because the entire house is going to smell like that for weeks. “Well, I BETTER like this pot roast, because every shirt I own is going to smell like one for the next two weeks.”

There’s no way around it, the slow cooker is an inconvenient device. But by delaying gratification, the crockpot forces you to wait for quality. That’s something all of us could apply in our every day lives.

The crockpot is cocky. It KNOWS it’s value, and it KNOWS it’s going to take you a long ass time to make whatever it is you’re using it to make. It doesn’t care. Forget freezer burned chicken nuggets that take less than two minutes to make. Commit to a plan, damn it! The fruits you bear on the other side of it when you start a meal in one century and finish it in the other are great.

That’s why if I have the choice, in all parts of my life, I’m trying to be like the crockpot.

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