It's a wonderful thing to look forward to a homemade meal. My dearest beloved valentine made a new recipe in the crock pot yesterday: a chicken, lentil and corn stew, with turmeric and cinnamon. Quite good, and I have it for lunch today -- I don't have to worry with trying to figure out what I'm eating under time constraints at my job. It's nice, I tell you, because, where I work, we only get 30 minutes for lunch on Fridays.
Speaking of crock pots, this one is a new and dandy one that Tim and Meg generously gave us because apparently they received 800 as wedding presents. It's smaller than the one I purchased before D. and I got married, and is really a much better, more realistic size for the two of us. In the past, I just had the one, and it always made enough to feed a small army and still have leftovers to freeze. While it's nice to have stuff to tuck away in the freezer, it really only makes sense to do that with tried-and-true favorites. When we want to try something new, it's best to use a smaller pot, because if we find we hate it, there's less that goes to waste. I recall the classic line of the late Dr. Larry McManus: "Sweetheart, it was wonderful. Let's never have it again." :)
I have become quite an advocate of crock pot cooking. Most of the recipes are very low-fuss, and you don't have to worry about constantly monitoring and stirring them to keep them from burning. Most stews and soups contain veggies, and tend to be fairly nutritious, for the most part. Dinner simmers all day, filling the air with savory aromas that greet you at the door when you arrive wearily after a long day at work, and the leftovers will be even better the next day. Most recipes I've seen also tend to be fairly economical, though there are a few that get into gourmet territory. It's also nice to be able to cook without tying up the stove. Cleanup isn't too bad, either. Somehow, it seems particularly appropriate to the lifestyle of geeks who are sick of ordering out, sick of sandwiches, and who want something decent to eat.
There are a few things I don't like in the crock pot: I am not fond of beef dishes in it, but then, I'm not a big fan of beef to begin with, so that likely has everything to do with it. My mom's beef stew is about the only kind I'll eat . . . I should ask her for the recipe.
Some personal crock pot faves include Brunswick stew, pork with fennel, and lamb and black bean chili.
Hmm . . . all of this is inspiring me to go see if there's a crock pot recipe community on LiveJournal. ;)