Oh my, I finally realized why everyone thinks the darn thing is so convenient. In the past I have always felt like it takes more work for crockpot cooking than just regular. I couldn't imagine getting up early in the morning to cut up veggies, and I am a snobby enough cook that I know that cutting veggies the night before and leaving them in the fridge overnight would dry them out. Plus, at 9PM, after I have been through the afterwork wringer of pick up baby, feed baby, play with baby, bathe baby, get baby down for sleep, wash bottles, fix the next day's bottles, clean the kitchen, cook and eat supper somewhere-in-there, who wants to make ANOTHER meal?
Enter St. Patrick's Day, that holy grail of holidays that involves meat, potatoes, BEER, and pretending to be Irish. I mean, we're all kind of a little Irish anyways, right? And I'm pretty sure that real Irish people don't eat this on St. Patty's Day, but us Americanized Irish do the whole corned beef and cabbage deal. Now, I know from experience dating all the way back to my "college" days that the best way to cook this is for a couple of hours in a big stockpot of water and Guinness on the stove.
But I get home at 6PM and have a household to run. I can't be doing all of that work...we wouldn't eat until well after 10PM (like the Italians) so I decided that I could crockpot it this year. I arrived home on my lunch break with 40 minutes to chop and arrange my meat and veggies in the crockpot, pump, and eat lunch, and I accomplished my goal with a minute to spare. I even washed up the few dishes I used (knife, cutting board, colander). And when hubby and I arrived home after work, our house smelled delicious, and we had a full hour to sit and play with Jacob. No prep, no clean up, just a nice enjoyable evening.
I will be employing this lunchtime trick once a week, for sure. I cannot tell you how relaxed and unstressed I felt to be able to come home to a nice dinner and a clean kitchen. Even if my meat was cooked in Coors Light because I forgot to get Guinness this week. I guess as you get older, the St. Patrick's Day priorities change!
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