Tuesday, November 3, 2009

once more unto the yard

Last night, I took out four pounds of frozen beef and stuck it in a slow cooker (we have an actual crock pot hiding somewhere, but the slow cooker was the first thing I saw), prepping it according to this recipe, with very minor alterations. Late this morning, I was rewarded with a cooker full of tender beef that would have fallen off the bone had there been any bones off which to fall. Dad said the kitchen smelled good. Not all of the meat had been tenderized; the chunks had originally been cut at haphazard angles so as to get the meat into resealable bags as quickly as possible for storage. As a result, some of the tougher muscle groups were left to cohabit with the more tender ones. Not to worry: the sauce in which the beef is slow-cooking contains enough acidity to break down any meat, given time.

Dad's back from his morning trip to the dentist (the saga of his tooth continues; repairs are occurring in tiny increments) and unable to eat a lunch of solid food. This works out well: the BBQ beef will be served at dinner. I was able to "pull" enough beef to serve him, Mom, and myself; the tougher beef ought to be more pliant by this evening.

Mom's been awake since about 10:30AM; Dad's going to prep her when she's ready to get up. I'll serve her lunch, and poor Dad will fend for himself, I suppose; for him, lunch will be a soup or a shake). Once lunch is served, I need to go out and do the front yard, and Dad needs to go on some major shopping and prescription pick-up errands. It's going to be a busy day.

As I wrote before, yesterday's yard work took much longer than normal and required about three times as much bagging of lawn debris. I need to get a move on today: the front yard, though smaller than the back, has way more leaves in it.



Charles said...

What's the difference between a crock pot and a slow cooker? I had always thought they were the same thing.

Kevin Kim said...

They do pretty much the same thing, but if our own housewares are any indication, a crock pot is generally large, round, and made from a heavy material-- ceramic, metal, or whatever. It has heft. Meanwhile, our slow cooker is more like a box-shaped pot made of a light, almost flimsy material. It looks and feels cheaply made. Are all slow cookers like this? No idea. Maybe there's enough crossover to say that crock pots and slow cookers are two subspecies of the same species-- or if the overlap is total, that they're the same species, period.

A quick look online reveals some confusion about whether the terms are synonyms. Wikipedia says they are. This site says they aren't. All I can say is that, in our house, when we refer to the "crock pot," we're talking about a well-made piece of kitchen gear, whereas "slow cooker" refers to an el-cheapo device that won't survive the first time it gets dropped.