Funny what strikes that sentimental spot in the heart. I've been thinking about my parents a lot lately, and mulling over the words for a post, but something else, equally sentimental, jumped queue. Of all things, it is a crock pot that is pulling at my heartstrings.
I used it weekly now, especially with just the two of us here at home. I can take a whole chicken from the butcher, to roasted, to stew, and then use the bones for bone broth, all with the same kitchen helper. And the "set it and forget it" mode has always appealed to me, especially when I've had a day full of medical visits and appointments, and then walk into a home filled with the aroma of something roasting in the crock pot.
But a few days ago, as I cleaned the crock (as opposed to cleaning someone's clock) I noticed that after 35 years, there's a crack forming in the bottom of the crock. And, sadly, it goes clear through, though nothing has leaked yet. But, it's not long, I fear. Plus, I worry about the integrity of the crock and if whatever's under the glaze might not be safe if the glaze isn't intact.(There was a "Lead in slow cookers!" scare a few years back.)
Today, I retired my mother's crock pot. I did a lot of looking for a replacement, and while there are ones out there with bells, whistles, timers, and all sorts of extras. I'm not taking it tailgating, or serving dips or meatballs from it at parties. I didn't need handles, or vacuum sealed, or a carrying case. I didn't need a special slot to slip a meat thermometer. No temperature control or timed settings.. I just wanted simple-- and a removable crock for cleaning.
Most places I checked locally (before resorting to Amazon or big box stores) only had the fancy ones. But I found my simple little crock pot, on/off with a few stops in between, and a removable liner. The woman who helped me at the store was delighted in my choice. She and I each showered praise on the simple crock pot, sharing recipes and memories (we'd each cared for our mother, each had one son, each worked full days which were often rescued by coming home and smelling the fragrance from the pot we'd set to cooking before we left for work.) Sure this one is a little 2017-- it's got a stainless exterior, but it's the innards that hold the real beauty. I'll put it through its paces this weekend. Prepare for some good smells and good eating... and a toast to my mother.