Crock-pots were quite popular in the 1970s when many women began to work outside the home. They could throw a bunch of items into the pot in the morning and voilà! Dinner would be ready when they got home.
In my mind, many recipes for slow cookers seem designed primarily for convenience, use few ingredients, and often prepared sauces. In other words, they seem to be a bit of a cop out. I'm not saying that I never used one. In fact, I've owned one for years – it may even have been inherited from Ed's bachelor days. I would lend it every year to my friend Karen for her Christmas caroling and soup party. Worked great to keep a pot of soup warm. I also remember trying to cook country pork ribs in it. I think the recipe called for jamming the pot with uncooked ribs, adding a bottle of barbecue sauce and walking away for 8 hours. Dinner tasted like ribs floating in fat and looked kinda pastey. Not good.
So, I had given up on ever using a crock pot. Until last night. Remember the apples that we were given by our neighbors for our help putting up his cold frame? Well, there are a lot of them and I wanted to make some apple butter.
Most of the recipes I found called for cooking apples for two hours, stirring non-stop. That seems like a long time to keep my focus on the task at hand. So, I googled "crock-pot apple butter" and up popped Martha Stewart, offering me a recipe for an overnight apple butter recipe.
Last night, I peeled and cored 5 pounds of apples and tossed them into Jack's crock-pot, along with some spices and 2 cups of apple cider.
I cooked them on "high" for an hour or so and then turned them down to "low" and went to bed. Eight hours later, I woke to house that smelled deliciously like spiced cider. A minute or two of immersion blending and voila! I had beautiful apple butter, ready to be canned.
So count me in. I'm now a believer in crock-pots. I guess I am that type of girl.