Dinner On The Table
First introduced in 1971, the Crock-Pot revolutionized the way we cook meals. The word Crock-Pot is actually trademarked by Rival Industries, but is used in every day conversations instead of the term slow cooker. Many recipes for the crock-pot require little preparation. The slow cooker can then safely be left to run unattended, making it a convenient cooking method.
I got married in the 70’s and had one of the latest crockpots at that time. They didn’t come with the nice removable ceramic inserts available now, nor were they programmable. The oval shapes large enough to hold a small roasting chicken weren’t invented yet. The only shape was round. As a new bride who worked full-time, I made every meal I could in the slow cooker. The Hubby often worked late hours, and it was perfect for getting meals on the table quickly in the evening after work, and keeping foods warm. Fast forward 36 years….
Now that my oldest daughter is a married mom, one of my gifts to her was a state-of-the-art Hamilton Beach Programmable Slow Cooker I think It’s the best slow cooker and I got it because it’s the one I use. Every Sunday she has us over for some of the most marvelous meals she’s put together! Even my charming son-in-law makes a wonderful pot roast with vegetables. He adds carrots, potatoes and the slow cooker makes it’s own gravy. I help him a little bit and gave him my tip to use cornstarch to thicken the gravy. We New England folks love our comfort food!
One of my favorite dessert recipes is a crockpot chocolate molten lava pudding cake recipe. The fudge sauce is magnificent!
Crockpot meals can not only save you time in the kitchen, but they can also save you money as well.
Here are some reasons why crockpots or slow cookers can save you money:
1. A crockpot keeps you out of the fast food line. If you had not loading up the crock-pot with the ingredients this morning you’d likely be in the drive through line at the local fast food restaurant this afternoon after work, grabbing a meal for your family. The average fast food meal for a family of four rings up over $20.
2. Stretches your dollar. Most crock-pot recipes and meals can truly stretch your food dollar. Because you can put a whole chicken in the crock-pot to cook then cut it up for several meals, you can stretch your budget with the use of your leftovers.
3. Cuts your grocery budget. You can save money at the butcher since the slow cooking process is especially useful to tenderize cheaper cuts of meat.
4. Saves on your energy bill. Instead of running a larger appliance like the stove you’re running one small energy conservative appliance, the crock-pot, saving on your energy costs.