The crockpot, that staple of the 70's kitchen to rival the Margaret Fulton cookbook, is having a major resurgence all over Australia, and especially in my kitchen!
My mother passed on her original 70's model to me a couple of years ago, after my husband mentioned how handy he thought it would be for me to have one! Just imagine, he said helpfully, how wonderful it will be to chop up some vegies, brown some meat, and throw it all in the crockpot early in the morning. Then, he continued, you can get on with your day, and there will be a beautiful meal cooked and ready at dinner time!
I was sceptical at first. Were these helpful comments of my husband's somehow a commentary on my usual habit of throwing together a quick dinner at the end of the day? (Or even not cooking anything, but instead leaving it to him to cook when he got home from work? What sort of terrible wife was I anyway?)
The economic crisis, and a series of Masterchef later, Australia is now in the grip of a "nesting" frenzy, and every supermarket is full of recipe base sachets that are designed for slow cookers. Plus, I have discovered that my crockpot has two settings (low and high), and if I don't get everything in the pot early, it doesn't matter! (I just can't get my head around dinner until at least lunchtime.) On the high setting, my crockpot delivers a lovely tender casserole in only 4 hours. I can do my chopping and browning while watching The View (which shows at 1pm at my place).
As you can tell, I'm a convert! And yesterday, getting home from the second day of the ballet eisteddfod at 7pm, there was nothing like being greeted by the wonderful smell of dinner (sausage hot pot) all ready to serve onto the plates. Yum!
Alana danced beautifully at the eisteddfod. I have ordered some extremely expensive photos (of course cameras and videos are banned inside the auditorium), and will scan them to post here when I get them. She competed in four different solo sections; classical ballet, demi-character, modern/lyrical and contemporary. I know it all sounds like so much mumbo-jumbo to the uninitiated, so I'll do a quick explanation. For classical, think tutus. For demi-character, you dress as a character and your dance tells a story. Modern/lyrical is expressive and emotional, while contemporary is more of a free-for-all and very "So You Think You Can Dance".
I'm now going to get my head back into uni assignment mode. The kids are playing their DS's happily, and I promised them a milkshake when I head up to my local for my caffeine fix.