Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Chris' Crazy Crockpot Corner

In the bottom right-hand corner of this blog, you will find a new feature. I call it the "Crazy Crockpot Corner". If you have a recipe for the crockpot that you would like to share, be sure to email it to me. But beware, this feature is not for the faint of heart. Because I use my crockpot to cook dinner almost exclusively, there will be recipes down there that you might be surprised find. Nobody, even the Irish, could eat Guinness Stew every night!

You may say to yourself, "Is she insane, you cannot make this in a crockpot?!?" Well, of course I am insane! That's been firmly established, but I don't see what that has to do with whether or not my recipes will work or not! So I will make this oath...I am not just copying recipes from other places on the internet. All of these recipes have been tried by my family. As best I can, I copied them exactly the way I last made them (inside joke to all my friends who know I hardly ever make the same thing, the same way twice).

Why would anybody use their crockpot to make dinner every night? Remember, I said almost every night. Fridays, I use my bread machine and my pizza oven. On weekends, I use my microwave (leftovers don't you know!). The main reason is that by the time we finish with school, it's time to run off to an activity in the afternoon such as piano lessons or swim lessons. Then as soon as we get home, it seems like we have 20 minutes to eat, before it's time to run off again -- to Scouts or Youth group, or....

I know that I am not alone in this. I hear the same complaint from many mothers, nor is this a problem that is exclusive to homeschoolers. In fact, it's probably more prevalent outside of homeschooling. It's also been proven that the families that eat dinner together have children who communicate their problems more effectively to their parents, which has been what we have been emphasizing. What to do?

I solved this problem with my crockpot! Now, when I get up in the morning I toss things into it and it's ready when we run in the door. We can spend our 20 minutes together eating, because it's ready when we get home. We can talk pleasantly (yes, surprisingly when you aren't as rushed it is a little more pleasant) together over dinner. To be fair, sometimes it takes a little more than tossing in ingredients. But I am blessed with sons who like to eat, so I am teaching them to cook. In the morning, it's part of the chores that we divide out getting ready for breakfast, cleaning up, and getting ready for dinner. It's marvelous to have more time in the afternoon to (gasp) workout occasionally and in the evening not be so rushed!

I hope you enjoy! Crockpots aren't just for stews and chilis anymore! Although once in a while, for all you traditionalists, I may throw in one of those recipes as well.

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