Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Crock Pot: Newest Kitchen Addition

This past weekend I bought a new Crock Pot. I already had one but it is a 6.5 qt. size--way too big for one single woman. I love it and find the ability to cook soups, stews, chilis, and defrost chicken overnight or through the day without fuss incredibly helpful. But 6.5 quarts was just too big--so I bought a 3 qt. one.

This one is simpler: no digital programmer that automatically turns to warm (like the 6.5 qt.), it won't automatically stop or change times, so I cannot leave it as easily as the big one.

But I can cook a couple of days' worth of oatmeal, a smaller batch of anything without the choice of eating it for a week or throwing some out. And I can cook without fuss, without watching it or stirring it, while I clean or write or read at home. Multi-tasking.

I am experimenting now with oatmeal. It sounds like good to me if I could make oatmeal overnight for the next morning: inexpensive, nutritious, and filling. If there is some left for microwaving the next day, even better. It's taking a bit of finagling, however: the recipes I found have not been so helpful. The first was too runny (1 c. oats/4 c. water), the last one almost right (1 c. oats/1 c. water/1 c. milk), but the timing is tough, too.

The fact is that oatmeal is a personal thing: how thick, how milky, flavored with what, etc. I've ordered oatmeal in a restaurant and found I had to ask for milk: seems odd to me. I've ordered oatmeal and found that matter of fact they've added raisins, sugar, nuts, etc.: again, seems odd. Like scrambled eggs: what else would you get but eggs? Not tomatoes, or onions, or bacon in it without warning.

The most successful recipe thus far is: 1 c. oats/1 c. water/1 c. milk for 3 hours on low... but I'm still working on it. Needs more water and slightly less time...


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