It was a rainy, dreary day today, so I thought it would be a perfect day to make dinner in the slow cooker. Slow cookers are so awesome … it’s hard to have a bad day when you know dinner is cooking itself.* I don’t use my crock pot very often, but whenever I do, I tell myself I’m going to use it every day from then on. And then six months go by. My sister-in-law Sabrina has been using hers lately and has inspired me. Then a friend of mine mentioned she makes pulled pork in hers and all she does is throw in a pork roast, cover it with root beer, and turn it on. Cooking meat (other than fish) is one of my least favourite things, but pulled pork on a bun suddenly appealed to me, especially since there’s almost no raw meat-handling involved. Root beer** seems strange, but my friend said you couldn’t even taste it.
My slow cooker is quite small; I could use a bigger one but I got this one as a wedding gift from my Aunt Susie who has since passed away, so I can’t quite let it go. I guess I could put it away and save it for when Chloe moves to a place of her own. Because we all know how young people like to organize their week’s menu and plan their dinners well ahead of time. Anyway, because of the doll-sized slow cooker, the roast wasn’t completely submerged in root beer, so I turned it halfway through the day but it was awkward to get a grip on the hunk of meat. Eventually I got it lifted up to turn it and then it slipped out of the tongs and fell back in the pot and pork juice and root beer splashed everywhere – all over me and the counter and everything that was on the counter. It was very unappetizing, and combined with the smell of pork permeating the house all day, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to eat it. But it actually turned out pretty good. I would’ve enjoyed it even more if I hadn’t had to do the draining and pulling-apart, but it was still tasty. Dale wasn’t home for dinner but he ate when he got home later and he really liked it. I think it will be a while before I do that again
*Except I remember in one of the Ramona the Pest books, Mrs. Quimby had prepared a meal in the slow cooker, but when they came home after a long, frustrating day of work and school looking forward to a delicious roast, she realized she had forgotten to plug it in. So all the meat was ruined, which was a very big deal because I think Mr. Quimby had lost his job and was now working sporadically at the grocery store for little pay so money was very tight. I always think of this story when I use my slow cooker and check several times to make sure it’s plugged in. Thanks for that, Beverly Cleary.
** This is the second time in a month I’ve cooked with pop. My friend Rachel recently served cupcakes that were made with only a box of cake mix and a can of diet 7-up. They were so moist and delicious and of course she had them iced with fancy cream cheese icing and garnished with mint leaves and raspberries. I’ve never found adding eggs, oil and water to a cake mix to be that onerous, but cracking open a can of pop is even easier. So I tried making them myself, but they were a flop. The bottoms were burnt and half the cupcake stuck to the paper wrapper and they tasted like pop. I guess I won’t throw out all my spices and ingredients in favour of pop just yet.
If any of you are still reading after that very thorough description of our dinner, I will leave you with a picture of Spencer’s math textbook: