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Many years ago, my crock pot would collect dust in my cupboard waiting for me to make chili or a pot roast. Now it’s a rare evening when you don’t see it on my counter with the night’s dinner in it.
I know that many of you can relate to what it was like in my household from 4:00pm on. After getting 4 kids an after school snack, I am helping a 10 year old with homework, playing dominoes with twin 4 year olds, and chasing after a 2 year old. How on earth could I be expected to do all of this while preparing dinner and not be completely frazzled by the time we sat down to eat? Finally I discovered the answer.
Now each morning I get up and, while drinking my coffee, I decide what’s for dinner that evening. I take meat out of the freezer to thaw, verify remaining ingredients, and play with my 2 year old. Then I leisurely take 15 minutes mid morning to throw ingredients into a pot and flip a switch.
I go about the rest of my day relaxed, knowing that dinner will be a cinch. Sure enough, dinner time comes and all I need to do is spoon food onto some plates, sit down, and enjoy!
See why I believe that crock pot cooking is virtually stress free:
-Clean up is easy; there aren’t numerous pots and pans to wash, just one stoneware pot and maybe a cutting board and knife.
-Minimal preparation is required; just a few minutes each morning.
-It’s really difficult to overcook things in a crock pot. Plus, now there are crock pots that will automatically switch to a “keep warm” setting once the cooking time is done.
-Crock pots are wonderful for cheaper cuts of meat. Cooking for a large family, I’m conscientious of my grocery bill. Because crock pots cook meat over a long period of time at low heat, tougher cuts of meat turn out tender and juicy.
-You’re not feeding your family fast food or calling the pizza delivery guy again; they are getting quality home cooked meals.
-Different people can eat at different times. Let’s face it, with busy schedules many families can’t eat together during the week. A crock pot keeps the meal warm for your toddlers to eat at 5pm, your high school kids to eat at 8pm, and your husband to grab a 10pm snack.
So pull it out of your cupboard, dust it off, and enjoy the wonderful aromas that will fill your home as dinner draws near.