If you’re like me then you probably don’t enjoy cooking all that much. It’s just another chore to get out the way, rather than a thing to be enjoyed. But I surprised myself the other day by buying a slow cooker and actually loving it! Keep reading to find out why you should get a slow cooker too!
Just the other day I was casually chatting with some of my school-mum-chums about what we were each planning to do that day. Going to work was the popular answer. But my plan for the day was a bit different.
“I’m going to buy a slow cooker” I declared ecstatically.
Now, I know lots of the other mummies already have a slow cooker in their lives. What I didn’t know, however, was that I seem to be the only one WITHOUT one!
It’s probably to do with my absolute loathing of cooking. I’ve always thought of cooking as a somewhat thankless task. It takes ages. There’s loads of mess to tidy up afterwards. And the food is pretty much inhaled. Not savoured or enjoyed. Or, worse, it’s pushed around the plate and then binned.
Plus, I’ve always prided myself on being a career-woman. Not a domestic goddess. In fact, I’m a long way from being that.
So cooking and me are not best buds. Sorry cooking. Life’s too short.
Or so I thought.
Who Buys a Slow Cooker?
The other thing I came to realise is that there are two types of people who own a slow cooker.
PERSON A: the kind of person who absolutely adores their slow cooker. Researching new ingredients and trying out new recipes. They are the sort of person who willingly buys cookery books to use, rather than to stack elegantly as a pretty Instagram prop.
PERSON B: the kind of person who just buys a slow cooker. This type of person uses it once and then leaves it in the cupboard to collect dust, along with the pressure cooker, blender, juicer, coffee grinder, electric whisk and endless other “must-have” kitchen essentials.
Which sort of person am I?
Well, history dictates that I fall into the PERSON B category. I’m a sucker for buying something shiny and then storing it away in the cupboard. Forgetting all about it and then giving it away years later.
Hands up if you’re that person too! You’re my kinda people 😀
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So Much Choice
Encouraged by the fact that my school-mum-chums didn’t point and laugh at me too much at my intention to buy a slow cooker, I stuffed Roo into the car and headed off to Asda.
I’d seen a slow cooker on offer a couple of weeks before and I figured that would be the one for us. I did no research at all. None. Nada. I just merrily went off to the shop faster than you can say “June Cleaver.”
Imagine my surprise to discover all the on-offer slow cookers had vanished from the shelves. I can’t even tell you what make, model or capacity it was. So I wouldn’t have known if it was a good deal or not!
But, intent on going home with fresh ingredients and a slow cooker to put them all in, I searched the appliances aisle until I found the slow cookers.
There’s a surprising array of slow cookers to choose from! Nobody, but nobody prepared me for that.
Now if this was a new camera lens, or printer, or computer, or well pretty much anything, I would have been googling the crap out of it for days before committing to a decision. And then I’d have searched all the best deals before actually making the purchase.
I avoided the slow-cooker-choice-minefield with my ignorance. Blissfully unaware that Amazon comes up with 874 results if you search for “slow cooker.’
Just click here if you don’t believe me.
My decision was based very much along the Goldilocks principle. I looked at three: one was too big; one was too small; and the last one was just right.
So I chose a bog-standard 3l home-brand slow cooker. It was £13. Even if it was crap I hadn’t wasted too much money = minimal potential to moan from him indoors!
Turns out the 3l sized slow cooker is about right for a family of four. Who knew LOL.
Slow Cooker Virgin
When we got back home I was excited to wash my new pot and put that bad-boy to work.
I’d got an idea for a meal I wanted to try, and I was actually looking forward to it. Weird, I know.
Now, the thing I’ve not told you yet is the third reason I detest cooking. Nobody in our little household likes to eat the same food as anyone else. Well, except for spag bol and fish n chips, but we can’t live off that forever.
GinGin likes chilli. Jon despises it. Jon likes stir fry. GinGin hates them. I could go on like this for a while. Roo will eat anything. Anything at all. If that anything is pasta and peas, or fruit and sausage rolls. My god that girl is a picky eater!
Needless to say I was getting pretty bored of cooking the same risk-free meals.
One of the few things we all enjoy eating is curry. Yep even fussy little Roo will tuck into a Rogan Josh.
So I figured I’d make a curry. That would be the meal I’d make for my slow cooker first time.
I didn’t want to go all-out crazy but I didn’t want bland either. So I adapted a Tikka Masala recipe I’d found on the BBC Good Food website.
Busily I set about chopping, measuring, sautéing all the while cleaning as I go (yes I remember my basic food hygiene training from long ago ha!)
I threw all the ingredients in the slow cooker and set the timer. 5 hours of slow cooking loveliness.
The aroma soon filled the house. It smelled good.
GinGin came home from school hungrily asking what was for tea. Jon got in from work and immediately tried to take over – back off Jon! I’ll let you know when you can help.
I can’t lie. It looked and smelled delicious. It’s at this point that I realise a good blogger (and instagrammer) would have taken pics of said curry to show off with later. (*I mean helpfully display relevant images to go with the actual blog post.*)
You’re just going to have to trust me that it was actually pretty good.
And, because I’d washed and put away all the food preparation stuff earlier, the kitchen didn’t look like a disaster zone at tea time.
We had a tasty tea.
It was all entirely homemade.
I knew exactly what was in the meal I’d prepared.
Everyone ate it. And enjoyed it.
GinGin helpfully suggested adding more spices next time. Thanks GinGin.
It was a win for my slow cooker first!
Yes I Recommend It
You might be wondering at this point whether buying a slow cooker would work for you. Especially if you’re a PERSON B from earlier on.
I’ve owned my slow cooker for four days. And I’ve used it twice so far. Not bad going for me. I’ve got lots of meal ideas I want to try. And Jon keeps telling me that winter’s coming. I’m not sure whether he thinks his last name is Snow, or if he’s hinting that he’d quite like stew and dumplings served up several times a week. (That’s not meant as a euphemism.)
So, yes, I would definitely recommend that you buy a slow cooker. The basic ones don’t cost much. And the Money Supermarket people helpfully inform us that cooking on a slow cooker is actually more efficient than using a normal oven. Apparently a slow cooker uses about the same amount of power as a lightbulb. So it’s not going to cost the earth – figuratively and literally.
Keep in mind that I’ve only just bought my slow cooker. And I didn’t do any research about which was the best buy. I’m not about to offer up any suggestions on which slow cooker I’d recommend. But, you can shop for slow cookers here, where you’ll also find a useful article called “Best Slow Cooker.”
There you have it. I bought a slow cooker and I love it!
If you have one already and you want to share some killer recipe ideas, just pop them – or a link to them – in the comments below.
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