Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Sunday, February 6, 2011

How do I love thee Crock Pot? Let me count the ways...

My family & co-workers often refer to me as the gadget geek since I love technology, and that spreads over into the kitchen as well. C got a pasta machine for Christmas and I got a food processor, so I've been using most of my new-found time to try them out. And to add to the mix, about a month ago, I decided to go ahead and get a crock pot.

I've been wanting one for several years now - because of the time difference with The Company, I often find myself working the most between 3 & 7pm, which doesn't make it very easy to prepare dinner. I've spent many a night chopping carrots with one hand while holding the phone to my ear with the other, ie not exactly the safest thing. But with the crock pot, I can prepare everything earlier in the day when I have time, and then just leave it to cook until we're ready to eat.

The problem was that up until recently, they weren't readily available in France. You could get them from Germany or other neighboring countries, but they usually charged a fortune in shipping. But for whatever reason, now they're everywhere, and for fairly decent prices too. When I was looking for mine, I wasn't sure if I'd end up using it a ton or not, so I didn't want to spend a fortune, which is why I purchased this one for 35€ from 3Suisses:
I love it, and have been using it several times a week ever since. It's hard to tell from the picture, but it is HUGE. The picture shows it filled to the brim, and I'm telling you, that is enough food to feed an army.

Now most of my regular recipes usually make enough to last for two meals...until you throw C into the equation. He eats enough for three. He's got abs (and buns!) of steel, so I don't know where he puts it, but I'm telling ya, that man can eat. It's almost frustrating to me - I like having leftovers for lunch the next day, but it hasn't really been possible since we moved in together.

Until the Crock Pot. I don't know what it is about these crock pot recipes, but they produce massive amounts of food. One of my favorite sites is the CrockPot365 blog - it's written by a woman who decided to use a slow cooker every day for a year (and of course she got a cookbook deal out of it). But she's got lots of good recipes - and one thing I especially like is that a lot of them are from scratch.

See, I brought a crock pot cookbook back from the US, and I actually haven't been able to use it that much since most of the recipes consist of "Add 1 can of Campbells soup, 1 big hunk of Velveeta and some random meat into the crock pot and cook for 8hrs". Or call for other things like "1 jar of BBQ sauce" or "1 packet of ranch seasoning"- things that are not readily available here, or at least not for decent prices. So I really appreciate that she uses a lot of things I have around the house. Like her BBQ Pulled Pork recipe, which instructs you how to make the BBQ sauce from scratch. And let me tell you, it was so tasty that even C (Mr. No Sauce) gobbled it up.

So two thumbs up for the Crock Pot - it makes loads of food and gets C to eat sauce.



Blogger Global Librarian said...

Love the crock pot -- oh, so much!

We bought ours at Media Markt in Switzerland not long after we moved there. It was labeled as a "Rice Cooker!" The Swiss don't tend to use them.

When we moved I posted it for sale, along with many other household electronics, on an expat listserv. It sold within 30 seconds. Seriously. And I got at least 50 more e-mails asking to buy it, or, failing that, where I had managed to find it!

February 6, 2011 at 2:35 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Ah yes, the crock pot. My mother bought me a recipe book, except I haven't found a crock pot here in France.

February 6, 2011 at 4:00 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

Lucky you! I took a Crock-Pot to France twice. The first time, the inner crock broke, and the second, well...even with a special adapter the wattage was such that it cooked twice as fast as it was supposed to. Sigh. I could have seriously used it back in the day, too.

We have one now, of course, and it's great for cooking a nice pork shoulder (or "butt") or chuck roast. Or whatever. I have a book called "Not Your Mother's Crock-Pot recipes," which doesn't use the canned soup like older books do.

Anyway, enjoy!

February 6, 2011 at 4:12 PM  
Blogger Jacquelyn said...

Sam, I love, love, love my crockpot...I don't know how we would ever be able to eat during the week without it! Whenever one of my friends is getting married and has a shower, I always get them a crockpot as a gift! def one of the best kitchen items ever! Have fun with your cooking adventures!! ~Jacquelyn~

February 6, 2011 at 5:05 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

I'm so glad to know that there are crockpots in France! I have been looking for years, I'm off to check out 3suisse!

February 7, 2011 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I bought one for my dearly beloved but it seemed to find a happier home in my kitchen which is where it still is. :)

I've used it quite a bit. I remember doing a stuffed squash in it which was amazing.

The only thing with it is having to brown the meat first for better flavour although having said that, sometimes I just can't be bothered and it still comes out great.

I bought mine online too. La Redoute, I think.

February 7, 2011 at 10:31 AM  
Blogger Mil said...

I too have been on the quest for CrockPots here. They always refer me to their mijoteuses which are so pricey. I'll check out 3Suisses!

February 7, 2011 at 5:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

these are often from scratch, make an effort to be healthful, and make the translation from mediterranean or caribbean to crock. tagine! black beans and rice! it really is the working woman's savior and woman's day really understands that.

February 9, 2011 at 6:03 AM  
Blogger Sleepless In KL said...

I totally agree with you re: American cookbooks for crockpots! Thanks for sharing the link to the Crockpot365 site :)

February 9, 2011 at 8:08 AM  
Blogger Paul and Roz said...

I've go one of these, bought mine in the UK as it was cheaper to but one there and have it delivered to France, the price for on in France is a joke. I've got a couple of my recipes here My main blog about my life in Brittany is here

February 9, 2011 at 3:47 PM  
Blogger Chez Loulou said...

I gave mine away to a friend 8 years ago before we moved to France and have longed for another ever since...
great to know that they finally sell them in France for a decent price and love the link for recipes that you linked to.
Might have to cave in and get one!

February 9, 2011 at 5:31 PM  

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