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Behold the intrepid Crockpot de La Casa de Spo !

La Casa de Spo has only one crockpot, which is enough I suppose. It was Someone’s before we met. I think he got it when he was at college. It looks to be from the 70s, given its brown and yellow tones. It is simultaneously too big and too small for my needs. It is too small that every recipe I try to make is always too much volume to fit into its brown bucket, but too big as no matter what I make it is always too much.

Today I am making beef barley soup – or stew, depending how ‘soupy’ it comes out. Like a lifeboat with only so many seats in it, I have to modify the contents of the recipes to make things fit. You can run a divining rod over the results and not find the original recipe. The recipe/guidelines I am doing today calls for letting it sit at low volume for eight hours. I trust Ms. Crocker knows what she is doing for that seems a long time. I am in no rush today so there it is.

My late Mother had a crockpot decades younger than the one we have. I remember hers was white, with two sides, and it was deep as Lake Michigan. One could cook for a whole household, which she did. I wish I had taken it, although what two OBs* need with such a device is beyond belief.

Sometimes I think to ask Santa for a new king-size-titanic-unsinkable-Molly-Brown crockpot (no rubbish types) but The Someone Crockpot takes a licking and keeps on ticking and shows no signs of letting up. Its heavy brown ceramic bucket shows no signs of cracking, despite subconscious attempts to drop it and be done with it.

My favorite recipes are the lazy ones where you chops things up and open some tins and dump it all in and Bob’s your uncle and wait. Many crockpot recipes require browning things first on the stovetop in a skillet, which seems to defeat the point of a crockpot. Might as well just continue cooking everything in the pan and be ready in a fraction of the time it takes to use the crockpot.

There is something serene about a pot of vittles slowly cooking all the day, filling the house with warmth and redolence of something scrumptious. This works better in the autumn and the winter months. Indeed I think of crockpot cooking as a seasonal thing, which is probably why I got it out this morning. It is also a good way to use up leftovers, which I christen “Stone Soup”. These can be hit and miss depending on the ingredients. Alas, Babylon! The good ones cannot be repeated easily. I should write things down.

Just don’t lift the lid to peek in during the eight hours or others in the house will sense this from rooms away and shout out Joan Crawford-like imprecations not to do so, ever.

*Old Bachelors

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