Slow Cooking

Do you use your slow cooker often?  I wish I did but I don’t.  It seems that almost everything I make in it tastes like it was cooked in the crock pot. I’ve tried using the plastic liners, thinking maybe that would change the taste, but it doesn’t.  With my sewing room outside the house, I figure using the crock pot more would be good so I can have dinner close to ready when I come in from sewing.  Otherwise, I’ll have to stop sewing about 3:00 and come in and get dinner going or, I’ll have to get dinner going and keep coming back and forth to check on it and I know what will happen — I’ll get busy sewing and forget to check on dinner.

I dug through the few cookbooks that I kept and found The Italian Slow Cooker and The Art of the Slow Cooker.

The French Slow Cooker is new.  I never really looked through any of these books and am surprised I had kept the older two but am glad I did.

Yesterday I made tomato soup in the crock pot.  I deviated from the recipe quite a bit but it turned out fantastic — maybe the best I’ve ever made.

 Today I have Pork Ragu in the crockpot.

I also deviated from the recipe quite a bit but I can see there’s going to be a ton more sauce than we need so I took ground meat out of the freezer and will make meatballs and the leftover sauce will become spaghetti sauce!

Breakfast was sausage and pancakes.  Once I got the crockpot going, I cleaned the kitchen so I plan to spend the rest of the day sewing (while poor Vince is painting!) and then I’ll  make a couple of sides for dinner, and make something to serve during the game tonight and hope that it isn’t a terrible game and I end up having to console myself by buying sock yarn!  :)

One Month Report

We’ve been staying in the little house in the country for about a month now so I figured I’d report on how we like it.  My guess is there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that we love it.

It is unbelievable peaceful out here.  Since being here, we haven’t heard a neighbor’s dog barking; we haven’t heard a stereo booming; we haven’t heard engines revving.  I don’t think we’ve even heard a siren on the highway!  Now that the leaves are off some of the trees, if we’re outside, we can sometimes hear a truck on the highway but our house is about 1/4 mile off the highway and I’m guessing we’d have to be pretty far back to hear nothing at all.  Next house!  :)

Early in the mornings if I’m outside, I can occasionally hear a cow mooing off in the distance.  When the National Guard was doing whatever they do in the woods, we could hear a war . . but only if we were outside.  I was surprised that we could hear the shooting better when we were in town than we can hear it outside.  Camp Bowie is a huge camp and I guess most of the activity was happening farther away from us.

Not one thing about this place has been a disappointment.  It’s truly everything we’ve ever wanted.  Everyone who comes here, from the meter reader to the air conditioner buys to the Fed Ex and UPS delivery folks all say how lucky we are to have found such a place.  One guy asked me if we were related to the folks who own the whole big ranch.  I said no and he said “Land out here is so hard to buy unless you’re related to someone who has a bunch of it!”

I wasn’t really concerned but if there had been one thing I was concerned about, it would have been the size of the kitchen and having no dishwasher.  I’ve surprised the heck out of myself but I think that when I had a really big kitchen, I’d make a mess here and then make a mess there and keep moving down and then when it was time to clean up, I had a big time mess and it took forever.  Here, with it being small, I’ve had to clean up as I go and have done an amazing job (if I do say so myself) of keeping it clean.

I dearly love my little kitchen, painted cabinets and all.  Notice that Speck has to round up as many toys as he can find and bring them by his food bowl before he eats!  I always keep those blinds open but had to close them for the picture because there was too much sun coming in.  I will definitely be happy to get rid of that little fridge and get my bigger one here.

We’re very happy and content here!