5 reasons to have a crockpot in your life

Posted on Oct 11 2017 - 1:00pm by Claire Herbaux
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Whether you have one already or need to go out and buy one: Get your crockpot out!

I recently got one and it makes life SOOOOO much easier!

What I planned on doing and what I am actually doing with it is very different. I had this idea of cooking meals in advance and coming home to a pot of warm food every night. Turns out, I still have to cook at night. But it has come in handy for other reasons.

(The only reason I don’t come home to a warm meal is my living and work situation not allowing for a pot to be out all day while I go to work and often stay ten hours or more.)

So, what else can you use a crockpot for? Where do I start? I had to narrow it down to five broad reasons or we would be here forever.

Be the baker you are not

I used to watch the Bake Off religiously (let’s talk about the move to Channel 4 another time), but if I bake myself it is a disaster. Last year I learnt to make four kinds of Christmas cookies. I can make sugar cookies which at least children under the age of nine find “delicious”, there is a fifty-fifty chance I succeed at making a lemon, lime and sprite cake and I can make a Tarte Amandine like grandma taught me. Everything else backfires, or requires three batches for me to succeed.

Enter the crockpot. I have make blueberry and banana bread, giant chocolate chip scones, mozzarella and hearb bread and brownies so far: All very successful.

I will admit, you cannot make traditional cakes, but you can make sweet treats, snacks and breakfast bread and some nice bread to dip in soup. The secret it that is cooks very slowly, so you will struggle to burn it, and it doesn’t dry out as easily. Brilliant!

Prepare

Organisation is everything. But it isn’t always easy to be organised. sometimes life is moving too quickly, there are errands to run and things to do.

If you are like me, you still want a good meal at lunch, you don’t like depending on the sandwhich truck coming to your office.

Having a home cooked meal gives me the feeling there was time for it to be prepared, which in turn calms me down. Plus, you know you will like it: You made it with all the things you love.

In one day working from home, I cooked three meals in my crockpot. Two were in for about three to four hours and one for six.

I chopped away for about an hour, then just mixed and matched and left it to bubble away while I worked, did laundry, went swimming, and did the cleaning.

The result? I have three meals, each in five different freezer bags, ready to go. They are portioned, labelled, and some say “add bread”. When I really am in a hurry, I grab one, take a lunch box, and go to work. Between the morning and lunch time it defrosts, and at lunch I simply reheat it. For added fun, I don’t always look at the label, so it’s a surprise lunch. Options in my freezer at the moment are lentil soup, curry, and aubergine rice bake.

Make your life easy

Some things are not impossible to make without a crockpot, but they are a lot easier to make with it.

My favourites are rice pudding and – especially in this season – applesauce.

My issue with rice pudding is having to worry about the milk burning or the rice sticking. That’s sorted with a crockpot: Not hot enough to boil and burn and it simply doesn’t stick. (At this point let me say I haven’t made perfect rice pudding with it yet, the first time I put in too much milk just before turning it off because I didn’t look at the time, the second I forgot about it and left it to become a bit  gooey. But first of all: It still didn’t stick! And second: That wasn’t crockpot’s fault, it was mine. It is still recommended to measure ingredients and look at the time once every few hours.

#applesauce is in the #crockpot and making the whole house smell so good! #whoneedsairfresheners #smellslikefall #yummy #nowimhungry

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And applesauce – oh applesauce! Once you peeled and chopped it all, it is so easy to just leave it to cook, not having to stir or worry about it at all. Trust the woman who just filled 24 jars with applesauce: It makes it easier. If nothing else, it lets you tidy up while it cooks, without burning.

Soup

Winter is coming and with it the need for warm, comfort food. Namely soup.

Now there are many great soups and all depends on your taste, but there is one I have fallen in love with. It is a variation of a lentil one pot recipe I have made for a long time, but it is better!

It’s very simple, but delicious. Don’t just take my word for it. I have brought it to work and the entire office got jealous just by smelling it.

Vegetable stock, lentils, potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, celery, garlic, herbes de provence. As simple as that. Let it cook for a few hours, puree some, not all (depending on how chunky you like it) and add cheese.

Now go buy yourself that noodle bowl or soup lunch box you have always wanted and make your colleagues jealous.

You are welcome.

Endulge!

I live alone and there are many things you don’t bother doing for just one person. Enter the mason jar and the crockpot.

Because in case you didn’t know: You can make fondue in a crockpot! Again, it doesn’t stick, it doesn’t burn, it isn’t messy AND you can make just enough for one person (or two).

Whether you want chocolate or cheese – I approve of both – just do it in a mason jar which warms in your crockpot. Yes, it is as easy as that. The pot doesn’t even get dirty and at the end all you need to clean up is one little jar and you can easily make a small quantity.

This also applies to a baked apple, which you usually need to turn the big over on for.

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