kitchen gadget: return of the crock pot

A few years ago my brother, who always gave me “funny” Christmas presents, gave me a camouflage crock pot. I believe my response included something along the lines of, “I don’t hunt squirrels in my back yard like you, why would I ever use a crock pot?” and promptly returned that present, most likely by December 26th. It may have been the camouflage, but for some reason I didn’t see why I would ever need to use a crock pot. Oh how naive I was at 22 and in college, with lots of time to cook dinner every night.

A few years after that returned present and a full-time job later, I realized what the crock pot is all about. It really is magical. You layer ingredients in that ceramic crock in the morning and when you return home hours later, you can smell dinner from the hallway. It makes those chilly fall and winter days all the better, doesn’t it?

I think the crock pot was once perceived (from those thought they were above it like me) as an appliance for Midwesterners, who assumingly live on the farm and use it for things like pot roast. But it can do so much more than pot roast as evidenced by a Southern Style Feast, Pulled Pork Tacos, Lentil & Garbazno Stew, and Sweet Potato, Spinach & Chorizo Soup. You can expect some new crock pot recipes from me soon, but I would love for you to share your favorite crock pot recipes, I could use some inspiration!

I don’t use my crock pot on a weekly basis, but enough to make it worth while and although I didn’t quite get it 5 years ago, my Midwestern soul gets it now.


  1. says

    I love my crockpot! I don’t think I used mine until a year or so after I got it, but when I did I understood why everyone loved it so much. It’s awesome!

  2. Drew says

    I was just discussing the culinary delights that can be had with the simplest ingredients when tossed into a crock pot and let to simmer all day. Sadly enough, I was forced to leave my crock-pot at my winter home in Wisconsin because of limited space when I moved across the country. You can imagine my surprise when I hopped on my sister’s blog and found my camo crock-pot front and center. It’s great to hear that you have finally enjoyed that present that you dismissed so quickly.

  3. Susan says

    My favorite crockpot recipe is “Smokies with Apples and Onions”. Mind you, I should not even be posting this here (as it not necessarily healthy :( ), however it is a special appetizer that I make only make on New Years Day for our First Bike Ride of the Year party.

    3 packages of ‘Lil Smokies sausages (your choice beef, pork, turkey)
    2 medium onions, chunked
    3 Granny Smith (or other tart ) apples, cored and chunked
    1.5 cups brown sugar
    1 cup dried cranberries

    How to:
    Combine all of the ingredients in a Crockpot. Cook on low for 4-5 hours or high for 3-4 hours until the apples and onions are tender. Serve with a slotted spoon. Enjoy!

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