I've owned my Rival crockpot for over 22 years, and in all that time have used it under a dozen times, mainly to make turkey soup during the holidays. I wasn't especially interested in cooking prior to a couple of years ago, and as I'm not a "morning person," the idea of putting together ingredients for a meal first thing in the morning didn't sound like much fun, either (grin).
I was inspired by the above-linked interview with Phyllis Pellman Good, co-author of the Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook, to purchase the cookbook this past weekend. Good mentioned preparing her meals between 9:00 and 10:00 at night, refrigerating them till the next morning. Being a night person, I figured I could do that with no problem, and I thought I should give the crockpot a fresh try. Yesterday I hauled it out of the back of the cupboard and gave it a thorough cleaning.
For my first attempt in the crockpot, I only used the cookbook to give me an estimated cooking time for stew meat, and I duplicated last night's dinner, which I had made Sunday on the stovetop in my trusty Le Creuset. I only had enough leftovers for a couple people, and I thought it would make a good instant comparison to prepare the same ingredients today in the crockpot.
Success!! The meat was so tender it was falling apart. Everyone tried it and liked it. And it was nice to know that Rival makes a crockpot durable enough to still be working fine over two decades after I received it!
I'm looking forward to trying some of the cookbook's recipes in the near future and adding the crockpot to the kitchen tools I use on a regular basis. I've now cleared it a spot in the front of the cupboard.
More on the Fix-It and Forget-It series from USA TODAY.