Saturday, 12 October 2013

The Answer is in your Slow Cooker

Photo from The Slow Cooker Cookbook
courtesy of Spring Hill 
The Evacuees come home from school, starving as usual, shedding backs, coats and shoes with every step. We're all frazzled and have been drizzled on most of the way home. I need to fire up Old Man Desk Top so they can watch Horrible Histories on bbc i-player. At the same time, Prima lists all the girls she is and isn't friends with, and Secundus has an important letter in his book bag that I must read immediately.

Toast and a drink arrive (as if by magic) from the kitchen, and the children look a little less wild-eyed. I have another cup of coffee, realise the washing up's not been done, and notice that there's just over an hour until dinner should be ready. Cooking is the last thing I feel like doing. I'm tempted to open a tin of beans.

If the above scenario is a familiar one in your homestead, you too will benefit from Audrey Deane's collection of time-saving and delicious recipes: The Slow Cooker Cookbook. Many people have vague memories of their mothers throwing raw meat and vegetables into a slow cooker before heading off to work; chicken casserole was the only thing my mum used hers. But it doesn't have to be all about stews and casseroles.

What's different about this cookbook is that readers can use it in a number of ways. If you often need a quick meal solution but haven't been out shopping (or can't face/ afford it), there is a chapter of Store-cupboard recipes. Working mums who only have ten minutes in the morning to prepare that day's dinner can turn to the chapter on Chop and Chuck In to find a recipe that will fit the bill. Or perhaps you have a bigger window, say four hours between picking up the kids from nursery, driving to a swimming lesson and then returning for tea; The Afternoon Slot recipes were created with you in mind.

In my case, I had a surly-looking red cabbage outstaying its welcome in our fridge and a glut of cooking apples from my mother-in-law. I was delighted to find a recipe for braised red cabbage in the index. I felt really encouraged by Audrey Deane's obvious skill and experience. The ingredients are not difficult to source, the method is clearly described, and many of the recipes can be adapted. Unfortunately I was missing an orange but frugally/ lazily decided to try orange juice from a carton instead, and the braised cabbage worked out beautifully - one of the best things I have created in my slow cooker (it was delicious with pork sausages).

It is the first time I have read a slow cooker cookbook and really believed that the recipes would work and be delicious. I have always thought that things like lasagne, desserts or chutneys would be disastrous cooked for hours in this way, but now - along with Deane's various curry recipes - I am determined to give them a try. We mums under such pressure to provide nutritious, preferably home-cooked meals that our children will love, and Deane offers something for all tastes and time-slots. With electricity prices taking a hike this season, and many women operating under a strict budget in terms of time and money, The Slow Cooker Cookbook: Time-Saving Delicious Recipes for Busy Family Cooks could be just what you are looking for.

Now, away from your slow cookers and on to...
the Creative Home and Garden hop.
It's the perfect fit for all of your wonderful posts on creative home-making and gardening, whether you live in the suburbs, the city, or out on the range. 

I have written some FAQs for the hop so you know what to link up and how; you can read them here. Please do have a look at these guidelines, especially if you are new to blog-hopping in general or this hop in particular. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask them in the comments section below. 

Week Twelve's featured post here at Mumtopia is:  

Sunday Sewing Catch Up on Raising Crops and Babies

Don't worry if you didn't get picked this time. Each host will share her own features each week. This means you have an even better chance of being picked! Be sure to visit all of our hosts to see if your post was featured! The Creative Home and Garden Hop hosts are: Kathy from Creative Home Expressions, Mary from Back to the Basics and Mary’s Kitchen, Alison (that's me) from Mumtopia,  and Lisa Lynn from Little Homestead on Hill. We'd love it if you would like to follow us!

If you were featured, feel free to grab the "Featured Post" button and share it on your blog with a link back to here! 

And before you link up, don't forget to check out my new Lego Ninjago giveaway and special offers here.


1 comment:

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