Guest post by Bonnie of A Knotted Life:
I married a man who owned a crockpot.
Because he already owned one we did not include a crockpot on our wedding registry. Two people noticed that glaring oversight and gifted us slow-cookers. On the first day of our marriage we were the proud owners of three crockpots.
That’s a lotta crockpots.
For the first six years of our marriage we used our crockpots a great deal. Pot roasts, Italian beef, pulled pork, chicken tortilla soup, beef stew, chili, and other chicken and soup recipes have all been cooked time and time again in our trusty old crockpot. The meals were easy to make (throw it all in, turn it on, and walk away!) and they tasted good. We were happy and our stomachs were full.
Now, a woman at my moms’ pray and play group at church makes the best soups.
Week after week she makes a huge pot of soup and all of us – the grownups and our kids – will scarf it down, sopping up the last bits of the broth with bread. We rave about how good it is and so she told us what she does:
She uses up whatever meat, lentils, and veggies are laying around, never draining the cans or using a store bought broth, and she always begins by carmelizing chopped onions and minced garlic in some olive oil at the bottom of her stock pot.
The key, she said, is to start with the onions and garlic and to add everything to that.
I wondered about her recipe and my crockpot and how I could make them work together.
I didn’t want to dirty another pan by starting with the olive oil, garlic, and onions on the stove and then transferring them. One of the points of a crockpot is there’s not a lot of dishes. And then I had an epiphany: I could just use a regular pot! On my stove! Like women did for millennia! How about that, Ma Ingalls?!
So I tried it. I got out a great big pot, put some olive oil in the bottom, heated it up, added some minced garlic and chopped onions and cooked them. Then I dumped in half-empty bags frozen vegetables, some water, a couple of un-drained cans of beans and diced tomatoes, and some fresh veggies that were on the border of being not-so-fresh. I added salt, some pepper, and a few other spices to my liking, turned down the heat, and let it cook. It was way easier than I ever thought it would or could be. And it was delicious!
The next week I started the same way but then I added a pot roast, searing it on all sides. Once the outside was browned I added a bit of water, covered it, turned down the flame, and left to pick my daughter up from school. When we got home I added some carrots and a little later some potatoes. When it was all cooked through I took the meat and veggies out and made a gravy with the drippings. That night we ate the best pot roast I’ve ever had.
Ladies! (and gentlemen?) I challenge you to put aside your crockpot and get out your stock pot. Make your soups and stews on your stove, always starting with some olive oil, garlic, and onions. It really is delicious and so much easier than crockpot proponents had led me to believe.
Bonnie Engstrom: Catholic wife and mom of 6; I bake, cook, blog, and ignore the laundry. I’m really good at ignoring the laundry.
(Be sure to check out Bonnie’s blog, A Knotted Life, and her video series about celebrating the liturgical year!)
A note from Haley: There are some wonderful cookbooks (including mine!) that will be available Wednesday, April 23, along with other resourcing on homemaking–faith, health, self-care, marriage, homeschooling, holidays, finances, work/life balance, etc–in the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle. 78 ebooks in all and tons of printables and free products (worth over $200) and a total value of almost $900 for less than $30 (or 95% off!). It’s ONLY HERE FOR SIX DAYS and then it’s gone forever. So don’t forget to check back at Carrots on Wednesday morning to get your bundle!
I’ll be sharing all the titles Wednesday when the sale goes live and I am so excited to spill all the details! And there’s even a super secret gift I’m offering to all the Carrots readers who purchase through my author link and an amazing giveaway, so stay tuned!