By Michael Smith (Veshengro)
Slow cooking in a crock pot saves energy (and time) and that all year round. It is, however, really is nice during those cold months when you come home from the cold and a warm meal is ready for you.
I have got two slow cookers, aka crock pots. One a rather old British made one that I was given by someone who could not really get on with it and one that I reviewed for Lakeland. Although I must say that I have not used mine for a little while now it has been a very busy little person during winter. But you can also use it at any time of the year.
If you eat meat – I do – and like it the Greek style, as in Kleftiko, which is a case of not so much of the meat falling off the bone but rather the bone falling out of the meat, then this is the way of cooking it. Instead of having the stuff for hours at a low heat in the oven – electric or gas – have it in the crock pot. It will be cheaper. The only cheaper way of doing it is if you have a wood cook stove and use the oven in that one.
The nice thing about using a crock pot, aside from the fact that you can put your dinner on the night before and when you come hone the next day from work you can sit down to dinner without having to do any further work bar laying the table and dishing up the food, is that it takes so little energy.
While I have not have had a way of testing it it is said that a crock pot uses about the equivalent in electricity as does a light bulb, and I believe word has it that it is a 60W light bulb they were talking about. While still a bit on electricity it is in no way the same as a couple of kilowatt, like an electric oven might use.
Stews and the great majority of one-pot meals all do very well in the crock pot though the taste, it has to be said, it a little different to what you get when you cook the food in a different way.
One of my favorite dishes to make in the crock pot is a sausage casserole with onions, apple, potatoes (and I often add carrots and something else to it) and, oh well, obviously, sausages.
There are many recipes in special books for the crock pot but the majority of those recipes can nowadays be found online and they all are delicious, but I like to play with things, so to speak, and experiment with putting things together at a rather regular basis. They all, so far, have turned out great.
I can recommend having a crock pot and using it to everyone, but it is a definite godsend for the Mom that goes out to work or the Mom that is very busy working at home and from home. Put everything in and let the thing get on with it and the result; a great meal for the family.