Last summer I turned 25 and have been inching closer and closer to that period in my life where I need to be a little more competent in the “domestics” department. I’ve been trying new things, here and there, in an attempt to “train” myself to be a “real” adult… ha. In other words, not setting off the smoke detector and thus scaring the pants off my poor dog every time I decide to put a pan on the stove. Yep- she knows what’s up when she hears the clicking of the gas burner igniting… You’d think the devil just invited her to dine in hell the way she wants out of the house.
The first step was moving out of my parents house. Ha. Just kidding. 🙂 I certainly didn’t have to wait until I was living under another roof to try and act like a grown woman who eats meals, instead of an irresponsible young adult who eats a series of snacks throughout the day. But, it was the nice little nudge I needed to start dabbling with adulthood.
To an undomestic wonder such as myself, cooking was scary, uncharted territory. To me, one practically needed a masters degree in maturity in order to properly cook a piece of chicken in order to prevent killing those you hoped to feed.
Introducing: the crock-pot. (If you don’t have one, you need one. The recipes and possibilities are an endless journey into easy deliciousness.)
A friend of mine back in Connecticut encouraged me to buy one of these gems, as it sounded like the perfect tool for someone with my level of competence — none. Basically, she made it sound as though you throw all the food in, turn it on, and then when you come back a number of hours later, your meal is ready, like magic. An electronic kitchen slave that does all the work for me?? Sold! Best $25 I’ve ever spent. It has been responsible for 90% of the home cooked meals we have eaten since moving here. I know I’m hardly doing anything aside from buying the ingredients and cutting fat off of meat, but nonetheless, I did feel slightly more accomplished knowing that the meals we were eating had been produced in my kitchen, and not in the microwave, from the freezer section of the grocery store.
While this trusty device has been my willing servant for the last two months, I think it’s time to try and pull myself out of the crock-pot, and try for a full-on baked whole chicken. I found a new website via Pinterest called GatheredTable.com where it gives you ideas and recipes to plan your weekly meals. You can drag items around, add, delete — it’s neat.
Since it’s a brand new week, in a brand new month, I’m going to try planning our dinners for the week, and buying all the groceries at once instead of making daily (yes, daily) trips to Walmart after work and buying what I need for what I’m cooking that night. I’m thinking three meals per week, and the in between days, repurposed leftovers. I’ll (hopefully) learn a few things, and I can see if it’s more cost effective to buy one day a week vs. heading to the store every night for random ingredients. Realistically it will probably end up being close in cost, just one lump sum vs. a bunch of smaller ones… but at least it will save me the hassle of dragging my butt to the store every afternoon, and that’s enough to convince me!
Maybe I can do this “adulthood” thing after all, ha. Wish me luck, and happy Sunday!
Some of my favorite crock-pot recipes so far: