What A Crock!

No don't worry, I'm not talking about the Republican presidential ticket...although I could! Heh.

Friday night was a wild night spent at Target buying a crock pot. Yes, that’s right, a slow cooker just give me my AARP membership card now please. I have never had a crock pot but decided that it might be a useful thing to have around. The theory of putting a bunch of crap in the pot in the morning and coming home from work to a warm, delicious meal is very enticing for someone like me who A.) is usually starving when I get home from work B.) is not only starving but impatient, and C.) cannot cook worth crap. So, Friday night, Daniel and I went to Target to pick out a crock pot to add to our teeny, tiny, already overcrowded, kitchen.

So, as I’ve mentioned before, Daniel is a foodie, which means he actually likes to cook (bizarre, I know), which further means that he has never owned a crock pot either and was, in fact, fairly dubious about using canned soup in our first slow cooker experiment. It does not sit well with him. No it does not. But, we decided to try this simple sounding chicken/mushroom thing in the new 5qt. crock pot using canned soup. 5 quarts is a lot larger than a person who is unfamiliar with crock pots might suspect.

The recipe we dug up called for 3 chicken breasts, a can of mushrooms (Daniel insisted on using fresh mushrooms – there is only so much the man can handle!), chopped onion, a can of cream of mushroom soup, a can of cream of chicken soup, and some chicken stock. Here’s where things go awry.

The recipe was intended for a 2-3 quart crock pot. Not a 5 quart crock pot. So, not knowing if one can cook a 2-3 quart recipe in a 5 quart pot, we thought, “well hey, we’ll just double the recipe and have some leftovers to freeze for lunches”. This meant we used 4 cans of soup plus double the chicken stock. We happily opened cans and started dumping shit, willy nilly, into the crock pot. We peered at the disgusting mess staring back at us from the pot and looked at each other.

“Should we stir it?”

“Well, the recipe doesn’t say to stir it. I’m sure it’ll all just meld together in the next six hours, right?”

”Yeah, let’s just put the lid on and leave it alone”

So we went about our Saturday business which included cleaning, laundry, washing the car, etc. Some day you too can have a life this exciting!

An hour or two later, we decided we should probably stir it.

“Hmmm…it seems really…liquidy”

“Yeah, pretty soupy. Maybe it’ll thicken up a bit in the next 4 hours or so”


For dinner we cooked up some noodles and roasted some asparagus to accompany our first crock pot masterpiece. And when we proudly took the lid off of the crock pot, we were faced with soup. Soup with chunks of mushroom and onion and floating chicken breasts. That's right. We doubled everything EXCEPT the chicken. Uh-huh.

Okay, so our first foray into the exciting but dangerous world of slow cooking was sort of a failure. But we are hopeful, and will try again.

If anyone can offer any crock pot expertise, or slow cooker words of wisdom, we’d be most grateful.


boty said...

Oh Saffron....how I ache with concern when you post about your culinary experiments...

1) get a 2-4 quart slow cooker...good size for two people.

2) it works best when 1/2-2/3 full of original food.

3) any recipe that says "just dump it in" you should probably stay away from most of the time...some prep work is usually needed.

4) unless the recipe says stir half way through, DON'T...every time you lift the lid it takes 20minutes for a crock pot to regain the same heat...you wouldn't open the oven while baking a souffle would you?

5) try the recipes your darling sister is emailing you...some veg some non-veg.

6) have your favorite take-out place on speed dial if Daniel isn't there to save your ass

7) If Daniel is there to save your ass...make sure he knows how to double ALL ingredients! LMAO!

8) you liked the dinners I made with my giant crock pot when we lived together!! If you MEMEMBER DAT! Does not have to be slug-poo for it to be from a crock pot.

9) and this is mostly for Daniel, get one of those christmas light timer things...that way if a recipe says 6 hour and you're away for 8...you can still make it happen!

10) So how was the asparagus?

p.s. I am master of the vegan slow cooker btw!

cathryn said...

I already bought a 5 quart crock pot. I refuse to go buy a smaller pot as well!

Also, the crock I got already has a timer on it and will turn off on its own and then remain on the "warm" mode for up to 4 hours.

This is way more complicated than it should be!

Jennifer said...

I think they have entire websites dedicated to crock pot cooking - Donna would better be able to find them, though. Also cookbooks!! I LOVE my crockpot and have the larger one, too, but it works just the same as the smaller one (no need to double recipes). Good luck :-)

Alison said...

Waffle irons, crock pots... what new appliances will my friends acquire next??

Great advice from boty. I mostly use my crock pot for making chili or keeping it warm.

The best thing ever to come out of my crock pot was apple butter from this cookbook. Your house will smell really, really good.

mom said...

you doubled the recipe?! that makes an awful lot of anything. this is my favorite. peel 3 or 4 potatoes, throw them in the pot. add some carrots. place a small roast on top. season with a package of dry onion soup mix. depending on how large the roast is cook on low 6-8 hrs. if you want you can add a small amt. of water (like 1/4cup)this is an old recipe but it is pretty good.

Gibbarella said...

I was going to give you the recipe that your mom gave you but my mom always puts in some onion. Hey you can do chili too or chicken chili. My favorite thing is the velveta cheese dip with chorizo or sausage and rotel. My mom also does a lot of beans with bits of ham or bacon. All the things I am listing have meats in them that you dont normally eat but just replace with chicken. I am sure Melissa has some recipes, I think she even gave me one called chicken tortilla soup with corn and beans and such.

Thanks for the laugh