Perhaps completing my descent into full-on suburban housewife-itude, I have purchased a slow cooker. At Walmart.
Friends, the slow cooker has changed my life, and let me tell you why. First, I am the crappiest cook you have ever met. No, really. You think that other lady was? Or your old girlfriend? Or your current wife? Or your mother? Or your father? No, dear. It's me. I just don't have the burn for it. I mean, I go through phases where I think, "I'm going to take cooking classes!" because I want to be a good wife to my husband who works all day, and this is how I will contribute to the household and blah blah. And then I start to cook something and I'm like, "Why do I have to fucking 'julienne' or 'dice' this? I don't have time for this! How about I just chop it up and throw it in, for god's sake?!" And then we end up eating some dish containing giant onion chunks where there should have been a soupcon of onion essence gliding across the palate. And then I've got to be standing there at the stove managing the different ingredients, like, "oh! It's time to add the adobo paste! Where is the damn adobo paste? Oh, I don't have adobo paste. Does paprika work? Yeah, paprika. Oh no, the onions are burning rather than caramelizing because I went to look for adobo paste!" It's pure hell--for me and for the folks who need to eat paprika-flavored chili.
Enter the slow cooker. Enter the million websites with slow cooker recipes, all of which involve about 4 steps: maybe brown the meat, maybe not. Chop the vegetables. Add the spices. Cook on high for 6 hours. I simply cannot ruin a dinner cooked in the slow cooker. And can we discuss the reduction in grocery bills as a result? Cheap cuts of meat, quality veggies, quality spices...and leftovers, baby!
The good people at Hamilton Beach have been reading my diary, because this is a straight-up dream come true. I just made the Obama Family Chili for a friend who just had a baby and needs some help. Took me 15 minutes. See? The slow cooker contributing to tikkun olam. Ordinarily, I would shy away from being a meals-on-wheels mitzvah girl simply because I hate to further burden already-afflicted individuals with my nasty-ass cooking. But this time? Kid-friendly chili for four delivered to your door! And the extra? MY child ate it. Liked it. (Note: the key to this chili is the mildness, more turmeric and oregano than chili powder, served over rice. Very Hawaiian/Indonesian influence. Parents can add the spice to their bowls, the kids devour the chili out of the pot because it's a flavorful, accessible, and healthy sloppy joe-seeming meal.) Bisous to Michelle Obama for this one.
Today is busy, what with the visitors arriving. So tonight is going to be a soup from this amazing blog, recommended by my girl VC: http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/10/sweet-potato-and-sausage-soup/. And I shall spend precisely 10 minutes putting it together, thank you.
I don't know why I waited so long to get a crockpot, y'all. Oh wait, I do. Because I am an elitist snob who thought they were only for people who liked to cook "meals" with campbell's cream of mushroom soup and velveeta. Well, you all have the last laugh now. I honor you, crockpot women of America.