Yesterday I made chili in the crock pot. What I did was, I threw the kidney beans into the crock in the morning, along with water to cover by about an inch, and a chopped-up onion, and a chopped-up green pepper. When I came home I took a skillet and cooked up some ground beef and another onion and some spices and then I tossed the contents of the skillet into the crock pot.
That is as close as I can come to making dinner in advance.
I kind of made that recipe up because it occurred to me today how fussy I am about crock pot recipes. I do not like recipes that toss all kinds of garbage-y stuff into the crock and expect it all to work out. On the other hand I do not like recipes that make you do all this prep work, brown the meat, de-glaze the skillet, combine this, do that. I have a whole slow cooker cookbook like that and it drives me crazy.
Also! I do not like recipes that tell you to fuss with the thing every two hours. Zut alors, if I wanted to watch over the thing, I would just cook on the stove top, you know?
I cannot believe I invested in a crock pot when I was in California. I cooked for Leonard Pennario in that crock pot. I get misty remembering that!
Tomorrow I am looking for a recipe in a slow cooker that calls for mushrooms. I picked up all these mushrooms over the last couple of days. Once I even got into a fight over them. That was at Jubilee!
Normally I like Jubilee. This is the Jubilee at the corner of Kensington and Harlem. I do not know if there are any others. They have these great ads that squawk over the sound system for the Harlem Helpers. My brother George and I always laugh about that. It is like going back to 1950!
Back to my experience with the mushrooms. The mushrooms were two eight-ounce packages for $3 and I picked up two of them.
I get to the checkout. The kid squints at the mushrooms. Then he asks the kid at the next checkout, "How much are these?"
The kid says: "Two dollars."
I spoke up humbly. "Excuse me," I said. "They're two for three dollars."
The first kid, my checkout kid, then turns to this weedy gray-haired guy who is the manager. At least that is what I think from repeated visits to this Jubilee on my way to see my mother. The manager grabs a pack of mushrooms and says he will go and check.
At no time did anyone meet my eyes or address me at all!
The manager comes back after a few minutes and his answer is to swipe a pack of mushrooms across the scanner. Sure enough, it scans to the price I had said, two for three dollars. So that is what I paid.
Again, at no time did anyone say a thing to me. No, "Sorry for the delay." No, "Sorry we couldn't take your word for that." No: "OK, you were right." Nothing!
Slugs and oiks! They are everywhere! I keep meaning to start an album of them. That way when someone is sluggy to us we can take the person's picture and preserve it. Instead of getting mad, we can think, "This is my lucky day! What a fine specimen I have found."
So today, what to do with these hard-won mushrooms.
It's got to be something good!