My therapist says that blaming (myself or others) is a character defect, but guess what!– he’s in China for the rest of the month so I’m pointing fingers, reveling in my shortcomings and regressing. Right now, I’m pointing my big fat index finger at my least favorite appliance in our house. Yes, it’s capacious. Yes, it’s allegedly multi-purpose. Yes, everyone from Rachel Ray to Jillian Michaels swears it’s perfect for the “busy working mother”, but I’m no fan of the slow cooker. I also refuse to call it a “slow cooker,” because it’s the exact same thing my Grandma used to make pot roast in and she called it a “crock pot.” If that name is good enough for Virginia Tate, it’s good enough for her granddaughter.
So, the crock pot.
I’ve given it a fair shot. I broke her in gently with basic chilis (with and without meat). The results were edible, but no matter what I put in there, it always tasted exactly the same. Will someone please get that Neil Degrasse Tyson on the horn so I can ask him how a recipe with a fist full of paprika and chili powder tastes exactly like one with a sprig of parsley and a pinch of salt? What the hell happens in that six hours of cooking?
Fine, so the chili was pedestrian. My heart knows how to forgive (see recent example: Jeff killed a mosquito in the car with my Kate Spade purse and I forgave him within three hours). So, I let bygones be gone, and I moved on. I tried vegetarian dishes like polenta stew and vegetable strata with pesto sauce. Funny enough, both of those tasted like each other and the chili.
We had a pot roast experience that was not totally toxic, but again, not to beat a dead damn horse, but it tasted like the other six things I tried. And the pot roast was sitting in four cups of dry white wine. How in the Good Lord’s name does that not somehow alter the taste?
The very last straw was the latest two recipes I tried, which required approximately 45 minutes of chopping and par-boiling before putting everything in the crock pot. I thought this giant magic pot was supposed to save me time. My vision of a good crock pot experience is that I hurl my unwashed veggies (maybe still in the plastic bag from the produce department), dump in some Lipton soup mix, include a protein of my choice and then leave the house for half or all of the day. When I come home, I want my house filled with savory aromas from food that is bursting with flavor and texture and color.
This thing that it does making everything taste like hearty tomato-based campfire gruel is just bullshit. So, I’m done. Keep your slow cooker. Enjoy that baked Alaska recipe that you can supposedly make in there. I bet you $50.00 I know exactly how it’s going to taste. I guess it’s perfect if you like chili for dessert.
You will hereinafter find me slaving over my stove/oven/cereal box/take-out menu. The slow cooker is a crock.