So lately, I’ve seen a trend in myself. It could be that I’m starting to act older. Or maybe…I’m just retro. Latest evidence? My crock pot.
I’ve had my crock pot for years now. It was a gift from my mother, who has always encouraged me to cook: she also gave me The Joy of Cooking, my first real set of pots, and—when I ended my vegetarian phase—a fabulous book called Lessons On Meat, which was originally published in 1965 and has diagrams that made me seriously reconsider the entire carnivore thing. She has always believed I can cook anything if I try, from roasts to piecrust. This has not always been TRUE, of course. But you gotta love her confidence.
I am NOT a great cook. I can bake, and do appetizers, and arrange things nicely on plates, but I get very nervous cooking anything big for people, like main dishes, although I cook for my husband at least three times a week. I didn’t cook nearly as much when ordering in was still an option. Out here in the country, though, I was kind of forced to get more domestic. So I got a subscription to Cooking Light (best.magazine.ever) and just dug in to do my best.
Even in the midst of all this, though my Crock Pot has sat unused, because I’m usually cooking last minute, like around 5 or 5:30. Thinking about dinner at breakfast time is just too much for me. The other night, though, my friend Courtney brought over chicken and dumplings (which was FANTASTIC) as well as macaroni and cheese she made in her Crock Pot. Instantly, I was inspired. It’s getting towards winter, a time of chili and soups, so maybe this is a good time. The only use my crock pot has gotten the last few years is when my neighbor David (who is an INCREDIBLE cook) borrowed it to make boiled peanuts, so it’s long overdue for some use.
But as I pulled it out today, I had one of those moments. Like when I think I am becoming ENTIRELY too domestic, and all I want is to run screaming back towards my wilder days, when we ate Ramen and rice mix and Easy Mac. More and more lately, though, these moments pass quickly. I’m not so nostalgic, I find, for my younger years. I mean, they were good (actually they weren’t, not all of them, but at least they were eventful). I think it’s okay to be settling in here, to my 36th year, with my crock pot, more interested in making perfect mac and cheese than necessarily hitting the hottest bar in town. Maybe it means I am getting old. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing.
I swear. Only I could get entirely deep just by pulling an appliance out of the closet. Maybe I do need to get out more. Hmmm.