“Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon or not at all.”
- Harriet Van Horne, Vogue 10/1956
I love my slow cooker a lot. It was a slow romance (no pun intended) that took years to build up. Over time, I had been match-made with slow cookers. I guess it just wasn’t the right time for a relationship for me, as I didn’t gel with any of them.
Even when I lived on my own, and with how much I love cooking, I didn’t bond with the slightly cracked pot handed to me, preferring to go eat at friends’ than to pull the old beast from the back of the cupboard and put it to use.
Now I think about it, how sad my slow cooker must have felt: being so close to fulfilling its purpose, yet so far.
I always knew it was there. I always knew that it would be what I wanted, but being new at this whole relationship I wasn’t sure how it worked. As the slow cooker had always been there in my life, I realized that it had already made the first move. It was now just waiting for me to respond accordingly.
I was scared. What if my response was the wrong one? What if it burnt my food (or caramelised it as my flat mate calls it)? Or worse yet, what if it made my food taste bad? I just couldn’t face that kind of humiliation and rejection! I had no cook book for this next step – I didn’t know where to start.
However, after many weeks of deliberation and getting fed up of eating so late, being too tired to cook and eating rubbishy plastic food, I was finally worn down. This relationship was worth a try, it couldn’t get much worse.
Stew it was. I’m not totally sure why I went with stew as I don’t make it normally, let along slow cookery. I used a recipe that a friend had given me and just tweaked it ever so slightly to the ingredients I had to hand. After all you can’t put things you don’t have into a relationship, it takes a little compromise sometimes! At other times, you may have all the ingredients and that’s good too.
So in went the ingredients (beef slightly browned etc.) and on went the switch set at medium at 7am. With which I grabbed all my stuff and went to get the bus.
Now being the unfounded worrier that I am, I then spent the next 2-3hrs worrying that the plug would spark, the slow cooker malfunction and the whole flat would blow up in a fantastic explosion of sorts, possibly destroying the whole city of Edinburgh in the process… After all I had just left a stranger in my flat – there was no telling what it might do! That was until, after said 2-3hrs I actually just had to tell myself to stop it and get on with it. The day continued as eventful as it should have been.
It’s only when I was sat on the bus returning home in the dark evening that the panic started to seep back in. “What will it have done? Will it have thrown a party and trashed the place? Will it have become so resentful over its years of disuse that it blows up as a final act of defiance?!” As I walked through the door of my non blown up flat, it hit me. This slow cooker had no malice, it loved me and had cooked me an amazing stew (first ever!!!!) and it welcomed me home to the smell of my dinner.Needless to say, the bond between me and my slow cooker is growing stronger each day. I talk about it all the time! I even have a little relationship guide book now (other wise known as a slow cooker recipe book.) We see each other a couple of times a week, sometimes more. It’s going well, we have recently advanced to curries and have been discussing the idea of cake at some point in the future. But that’s definitely for the future. I’m not ready for that just yet.
I’m glad my slow cooker stuck around and was so patient. I’m stubborn and don’t like to be made to do things (even if they are for my own good and the good of those around me.) Thanks to its patience and slow cooking, me and my slow cooker got a good thing going on.
The way to a woman’s heart is through her stomach!