Why the Crock Pot is a Writer’s Best Friend

As a stay-at-home mom, the stocking of the kitchen and making of meals has generally fallen to me. (Translation: my husband can’t cook…and our daughters have a few horror stories to prove it.) I’ve always made an effort to provide healthy meals and snacks and, for the most part, those have been made from scratch. But when you’re under contract and under deadline, things slide. A lot of things. Dusting, laundry, cooking and, sadly, even grocery shopping fell victim to my desperate attempt to produce words as the days ticked by.

Thankfully I keep a garden, so we at least had healthy choices over the summer…though I must admit to a distinctly lukewarm attitude toward salad after several months of eating nothing but. With the approach of fall and arrival of winter, however, the garden slowed and then stopped production…and people started to notice the dearth of available foodstuffs (translation: they whined…a lot). For a couple of weeks, I filled the gaps in fridge, cupboards, and stomachs with convenience things: frozen, canned, kit-form…all of which made their way into the house around 5 p.m. when I realized I’d forgotten—again!—to start dinner.

Then, while browsing a bookstore one day (see how valuable bookstores are? And how neatly I slid their importance into the conversation? J ), I found an entire book of crock pot recipes. And not the kinds of recipes that require a half-hour and half the pots and pans in the kitchen to pre-cook the foods before you put them into the crock pot, either. Nope, these recipes were all of the toss together, set on low, and walk away for seven hours variety. My kind of under-deadline cooking.

These days, I make up a weekly menu, make a single trip to the grocery store for what I’m lacking, and generally have dinner made while my morning coffee is brewing. The grocery bill has plummeted, I feel a whole lot less guilty about what I’m feeding the family (and eating myself!), and I no longer face that “oh, hell, I did it again!” realization when I look up from the computer at the end of the day.

So when I say the crock pot is my best friend, trust me…I am not exaggerating.



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15 responses to “Why the Crock Pot is a Writer’s Best Friend”

  1. Donna Brown Avatar

    I too have discovered the convenience of using the crockpot. During the fall and winter months I have also started making my own bread. I’m in the house anyway, and it really doesn’t take any time at all. (The time taken to make bread is all in the waiting for it to rise. Take a few minutes of break time between writing stints to punch down the dough and put it in the oven. It’s actually really easy once you figure it out.) Using a bread machine would even be easier. Just put the ingredients in and the bread is ready in a few hours. Combine the home-cooked meal in the crockpot with homemade bread and your family will totally love having a stay-at-home writer in the family.

    1. lindapoitevin Avatar

      An excellent idea, Donna! I make the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, too…don’t even have to let that one rise. 🙂

      1. Donna Brown Avatar

        I’d love the recipe! (Easy is good!)

        1. lindapoitevin Avatar

          I’ll do one better, Donna. Here’s a link to a video that gives the recipe and shows the method, too. Enjoy! 🙂

  2. SL.Westendorf-Coelho (@SLWestendorf) Avatar

    I discovered this dandy little kitchen wonder years ago, when I worked days and had a 80 minute commute (That’s one way). Since then I have gone through 3 crock pots! (I use it a lot). Easy – peasy. Thanks Linda for reminding us it can be a cook’s best friend.

    1. lindapoitevin Avatar

      I’m considering getting a second one so I can do two things at once. Did you know you can bake cakes in them?!? 🙂 (And an 80-minute commute??? One way??? How did you survive?)

      1. SL.Westendorf-Coelho (@SLWestendorf) Avatar

        That’s smart! Great idea – I use my bread machine for breads and some baking, but not cakes. LOL yes , husband had a slightly longer one – he spent 15 hrs/week commuting. You never get used to it LOL but you do what you have to do. BTW would you consider shooting the link for bread over to me? Pretty please 😀 I would love it. Thanks.
        You have inspired me to pull out the crock pot and dust it off! I have been living a life, exactly as you described LOL

  3. Donna Brown Avatar

    Hi Linda,
    I would love to see the video, but I don’t see the link.

    1. lindapoitevin Avatar

      That would be because I forgot to put it in, Donna…sorry about that, and here you go! 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFJZPm-_2-M

      1. Donna Brown Avatar

        It’s actually good to know that there is another human being besides me in this world who makes mistakes.

        1. lindapoitevin Avatar

          You have no idea, Donna! 😛

  4. Donna Brown Avatar

    Lol, I wouldn’t be so sure!

  5. Sandy Williams Avatar

    I’ve been wanting to use the crock pot for forever now, but I haven’t planned anything in a while due to deadline hell. I have collected a few crock pot recipes I want to try out. Really, I just need to make the grocery list and grab stuff. Did you like the crock pot book you bought? If so, what book was it???? 🙂

    I stumbled across this website the other day on Pinterest (love, love, love Pinterest!): https://www.skinnycrockpot.com/ Haven’t tried any recipes out yet, but it looks intesting!

    1. lindapoitevin Avatar

      Hey, Sandy — oh, I know all about deadline hell, believe me. I think the secret is to get into the habit of doing this before hell hits! 😉

      The book I have is SLOW AND EASY by Natalie Haughton. It’s in bookstores, but you can see more about it here as well: https://www.nataliehaughton.com/cookbook/ (I highly recommend the Beef Bourguignon recipe…that one’s worthy of company!)

      There’s also this site that I’ve bookmarked but haven’t had a chance to explore yet. https://crockpot365.blogspot.com/

      Good luck!
      P.S. How are your boys doing, btw? They must be growing fast!

  6. […] three times this week. 7. Try a new crock pot recipe. I’m inspired by Linda Poitevin’s post on Why the Crockpot is a Writer’s Best Friend 8. Plan this month’s menu. I’ve only done this once before, and it was such a stress reliever! […]

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