Tonight I am thankful for my crock pot!
Each week, I usually sketch out a menu for dinners for the week, which we follow with some degree of flexibility. On my two school nights, I don’t have a lot of time at home, so I try to plan simple meals for those evenings. Tonight, we had chili.
Last night, while I was preparing my dinner, I chopped onions, peppers, tomatoes, carrots, and celery, and packaged them up in a big baggie in the fridge. I browned the meat, let it cool, and refrigerated it. I assembled my other supplies, and put the crock pot on the counter. This morning, at 6:30am, I combined everything in the crock pot, wrote a note to my husband asking him to do a couple of quick tasks with it, and then went on my merry way to work.
And when I got home with the munchkins, the house smelled delicious. We broke out the fresh, hot loaf of French bread that the local grocery store guarantees to have from 4pm to 6pm every night. We grabbed some cheese, pulled out our spoons and soup mugs, and pretty much attacked the crock pot.
It was heavenly. We had a hot, satisfying dinner, and I didn’t have to put any work into it this evening, before class. I made it intentionally mild, so my daughter would eat it, and my husband and son added hot sauce to it. I used Cubano peppers this time, but I prefer Anaheims or Poblanos. I also snuck in carrots and celery, to increase the vegetable intake of my carnivorous (and bread-ivorous – if they could exist on meat and bread, they would) family, and none of them even noticed. So I’m incredibly thankful today for my crock pot.
(While we’re talking about bread, while I was on retreat, they served various whole grain breads by Arnold Bakeries. The bestest, most wonderfullest, was their Health Nut bread. I picked up a loaf last week, and Rob and I have been savoring every slice. As amazing as it is for sandwiches (shaved roast beef, provolone, chopped cherry peppers, romaine, sliced tomato, vinaigrette), I think I like it best toasted and slathered with crunchy peanut butter. Mmmmmmm….. I’m thankful for that, too!)