Thursday, June 5, 2008

Kitchen Goodies

As most of my regular readers know, I like to cook.

Now cooking in the rig is not really a challenge, but I have to pretty much stick to basics, gew gaw wise. I don't have my Cuisinart, and my pans are pretty basic (Geez, who would have thought I could get along without my fish poacher?).

And for a long time, I did without a crock pot, using my pressure cooker instead. Then last summer, while out cruising yard sales, I spotted an almost new crock pot for just $3.00. Since we were camp hosting at Manzano at the time, I figured this would be practical since we had electricity and a casita, so I could just set it up outside and not have to deal with it in the rig.

And this worked so well, we decided to take it along with us when we left Manzano and we've been using it ever since.

Till a couple of days ago when I dropped the lid and watched as it shattered into a gazillion pieces . . .

What to do?

I started researching slow cookers, and came across the Nesco Roaster. I remember these from my childhood when my Mother had a big old roaster that we would set up on the back porch at holidays so the oven would be free for baking other goodies.

But this Nesco Roaster was something different. At six quarts, it was the same size as my crock pot, but was so much more versatile! You see, apparently crock pots heat from the bottom, whereas the Nesco Roaster has a heating element that covers not only the bottom, but also the sides of the pot, in effect turning it into an actual oven, as well as a slow cooker.

Well, this just sounded too good to be true, but I did some research and decided to bite the bullet, so to speak.

Boy, am I glad I did!

Since my concern is using this as an extra oven in addition to a slow cooker, the first thing I tried is bread, and I'm happy to report that this was a huge success. Then I tried a couple more batches of Apple Bread and right now I'm baking up a batch of root vegetables (potatoes, onions, carrots, garlic, some cabbage and everything else I have sitting in the fridge).

So why bother to use this appliance when I have a perfectly serviceable oven here in the rig?

Because I can use this outside! And when the thermometer reads over ninety degrees, I LOVE the idea of using an outdoor oven instead of heating up the rig. And I still have a perfectly usable crock pot.

When it comes to kitchen appliances, multitasking is a serious plus.

Life is good.

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