10/29/09

It's Cold. It's Rainy. It's Time for a Roast!

Walking into the kitchen at 5:00 everyday, I usually have something frozen in my arms that I chose out of the freezer as I made my way into the house from my vehicle. Balancing my purse, travel coffee mug, the mail and that night's dinner, I walk into the kitchen and usually deposit all on the counter in one fell swoop and begin to make magic with the frozen 'something' in my arms.

Our family dinner time is 6:pm so I have 1 hour to make whatever will be served that evening. There are many hints and tips to doing this well - serving hot, healthy and a variety of foods - and using the crock pot is one that I admittedly under-utilize. I'm just not a 'crock pot' kind of person. Especially with todays crocks which tend to get too hot since the government stepped in and changed the requirements due to unfounded fears about food poisoning due to foods cooked at low temperatures for long periods of time. Over the past 10-12 years I've found the newer appliances tend to burn the food on the outside and not cook it on the inside. Roasts don't have a chance to cook correctly and get tender like they do in older slow-cookers and soups with any sort of ingredients such as cheese, potatoes and other things that settle to the bottom will burn. It's very strange to have your slowcookers on 'low' and find your chili burning on the bottom while the top is still cold.

Three 'newer' crocks and slowcookers verses two of my 'older' style from the late 80's and early 9o's and I'll chose the older. They cook evenly.

Another note: If you are using an older recipe or a traditional recipe, be careful about cook times. You can't cook Grandma's roast recipe in a newer appliance for 10 hours like the old days. That same roast will be done in 6 and ready to burn due to the higher temperatures mandated by the government.

Now that I'm done ranting and raving (ha ha) I'll just say; I have a roast in the crock-pot with whole potatoes surrounding and a bit of water in the bottom. The spices this time around are simple;

salt
fresh ground pepper
MSG
onion powder

I felt like going back to basics today.

Tonight when I get home I'll whip up some beef gravy, add some bread and perhaps some steamed broccoli and while the rain pours outside and the wind blows, our family will sit around the table to a hot meal.
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