Friday, October 7, 2011

Double, Double, Toil and Trouble... burn and crock pot bubble.  Or something like that.

That's right, we've officially joined in with the rest of America's households and jumped on the gravy crock pot train.  Actually, we were recruited by none other than my lovely mother.  Thanks, Mom!
 Yes, my mom showed up on my doorstep Monday afternoon holding this huge, beautiful, heavy-ish crock pot.  And I did what any considerate host would do: I made her wait outside until I could locate my camera (it was still plugged in to our computer).  Five minutes later, once she was inside, she also presented me with a recipe for said crock pot, along with all the ingredients for that recipe (except for the salt, pepper, and sugar... we had those on hand):
 The recipe called for red or pinto beans, a ham hock, frozen seasoning blend, a bay leaf, garlic powder, brown gravy mix, sausage(optional), salt, pepper, and sugar.  I would share quantities with you, but I'm afraid that would just encourage you to try this yourself, which you should not do.  Again, do not try this at home.  But I digress.

I placed all the ingredients in the cauldron pot, then covered them to 3/4 full with boiling water.  After receiving (mild) burns on my forearms from the ensuing splash (looking back, I see that I should have listened to the part of the instructions that said "carefully cover the ingredients with boiling water"; you know what they say about hindsight), I turned the crock pot on low and waited about six and a half hours.
All the ingredients.  Aren't they pretty?  I was pretty excited about the meal at this point.

Or at least that was the plan.  In actuality, I waited until the smell of burning plastic filled my kitchen, which was about forty-five minutes into the process.  I hurried to turn it off, remove the pot, and check for any packaging that I may have left in the works.  No dice.  I finally resorted to reading the manual, which warned me about a "chemical smell" during the first few uses.  So I put the pot back in the burner, or whatever you call that new fangled contraption, and turned it back on for another six hours.

Six hours later, I found out remembered that Patrick had a church committee meeting that night.  I figured we could eat when he got back home, and turned the crock pot to the "warm" setting.  It turned out that this meeting, which usually only takes about forty minutes, was our church's annual budget meeting.  So he was gone for a couple of hours, and they fed him there.  Since I wasn't really hungry anyway, I just let the beans cool, and then stuck them in the fridge.  That's where they are right now.

Confession: I actually tasted the beans before I put them in the fridge.  They were...okay, I guess.  I mean, if I had been hungry, I probably would have eaten them.  The main problem was the sausage.  It was completely flavorless.  It tasted like water, which shouldn't have been a big surprise, since that's what it cooked in for 6 1/2 hours.  For some reason, neither of us are willing to give them a shot.  I plan to dump it in the backyard behind the bird pile, next to the congealed remains of my first bean fail.  Just kidding, sort of.  The first bean fail happily (for us, anyway, it probably wasn't such a happy occurrence for the beans) disintegrated a month or so ago.

My mom had gotten the same ingredients for herself, and came to the same conclusion; she's already disposed of hers.  Thankfully, she admitted to not liking them before I had to bring it up.  Because that would have been awkward as heck: "Um, hey Mom, thanks for the crock pot and the food."  "You're welcome, Kelli!  I'm so glad you enjoyed it!"  "Oh no, we didn't enjoy it.  It's rotting in the back yard behind the burn pile.  We were hoping the birds would eat it, but they seem to prefer slow death by starvation.  But thanks, anyway!"

Mom, if you are reading, I am sincerely grateful for the crock pot and the groceries.  I promise to share any and all decent crock pot recipes that I find with you.

That's where you guys come in.  What are your favorite crock pot meals? And what meals are returning to Mother Earth in your backyard?  What was your favorite "just because" gift of all time? 



  1. Okay, this is the 3rd time I have typed this and it keeps disappearing on me. So, this will be short and sweet.

    I try to remember to use a disposable crock pot liner. Super easy clean up My easiest recipes are:

    Pork Ribs -

    Chicken thighs - 3 or 4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs sprinkled with pepper. Add a can of cream of celery and a can of cream of chicken. Cook for 6 or so hours.

    Sometimes I also make a pot roast or Becky's Cowboy chili

  2. Christie, thanks for being persistent! I've heard from some other bloggers about that problem; I hope Blogger takes care of it soon!

  3. Tator tot nachos.....sound gross but I made this for Matthew and it as amazing!!!!!