The Lowly Crock Pot

For years we have relegated the lowly crock pot to the back of the pantry or to the bottom shelf in the basement. We pull it out when it’s time time make stew or cook an OLD rooster or hen, maybe we’ll cart it our for a pot roast from a stud bull who’s had happier and more productive days. Whatever your’re making for your families dinner (certainly not guests)  we just need it because we have to cook something LOOOOONG and SLOOOOOW.

That’s how I’ve used my loyal, energy efficient appliance until recently.

I started thinking, if I were selected to be celebrated on Tiny House Nation or if I were in the midst of a SHTF scenario where I could only have one appliance, would I choose Mr. Crock Pot, not crack pot; that would be all the other people RUNNING around in a SHTF scenario. Well, I don’t know, but I have discovered lately some other wonderful uses for this ceramic mini-oven.

I’ve been making and eating lot’s more pro-biotic foods. One of them is yogurt. Thanks to my friend Jody Gustavson Speck who told me how to make this really delicious yogurt in the crock pot, I now have one more use and this little discovery has elevated this humble kitchen appliance to another level in the culinary world. I’ll be showing a video on how to make this very simple, healthy and delicious pro-biotic food.

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Next, I’ve really enjoy making lacto-fermented vegetables. They are delicious, versatile and very easy to make. The other day I needed a vessel to start my veggie concoction (red and green cabbage, carrots, red onion, garlic in a lacto-fermenting brine.

I did’t want to use my 5 gallon crock for such a small amount and all my other bowls were used, plus I didn’t have a single quart jar in the house, so I reached for the next best thing to use as a veritable vegetable versatile fermenting vessel. Ha Ha… say that 3 times and I’ll send you a plethora of pickled peppers. As you can see it works really well. Of course I’ll put a weight on it to keep the veggies submerged under the brine for a few days then pack them in quart jars where they’ll continue on their journey toward fermented delights.

Finally this week I opened my bread book “The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” written by Hertzberg and Francois. I highly recommend this book if your interested in making artisan bread which is easy and pretty darn good. I was determined to make this bread in the crock pot because 1. I had never heard of that and 2. I didn’t believe it.

Well I tried it and sure enough it performed like a champ. The bread was delicious, the crumb was airy and I was able to put a nice crust on top after sticking it under the boiler for about 5 minutes.

So am are talking about the lowly crock pot or a SUPER HERO VESSEL waiting to be called up to duty at a moments notice?

Would I consider this on the top of my list if I could only have one vessel? I don’t Know.

I’ll let you know after I’m done using it to wash all my dirty utensils I used in making all this delicious food.