(This makes me very sorry I haven't posted more slow-cooker recipes here at FriedOkra. Why didn't y'all say sumpm?)
Apparently the amazing growth of the Facebook page on which, as of five minutes ago, pretty much everyone in the whole world shares recipes and stories of complete-life-transformation-by-slow-cooker, started by three cute little Texan ladies is raising some major skepticism; in this incredulous post (and subsequent comments) at udandi.com, questions of murder and intrigue and Facebots and hackery take the sweet, innocent, exclamation-point-and all-caps lovin', slow-cookin' Mamas to (possibly-undue) task, questioning everything from their actual existence in real human form to their alleged wily-but-vaguely-questionable use of a new Facebook fan-gathering feature.
(Insert evil, sinister plot-thickening music here.)
Seems some are baffled as to how a fan-page for a lowly small-kitchen appliance like the slow-cooker has garnered such a happy herd of enthusiastic and devoted followers.
And now? I'm 'on crack this case wide open.
See, we aren't baffled, are we? We love our slow-cookers - "They make our lives so much easier!" - and we love our slow-cooker recipes. Why wouldn't we LIKE a Facebook Fan Page about this glorious gadget in thundering droves? We are all about that slow-cooker, ma'am! It's the best invention EVER.
(Except possibly the self-timing coffee pot, or is that just me?)
However. The plain truth is that at least where slow-cookers are concerned, we've already demonstrated that we are easily duped. Because there's a simple, plain, somewhat painful fact about slow-cookers that stares us all boldly in the face, as hard as we try to avoid admittin' it to ourselves, isn't there?
Come on. You know it as well as I do. Don't you? And I think the real mystery boils down to mama-brain. The kind of mama-brain that worked it's memory-erasing magic on us a few months (or years, in my case) after we delivered our first-borns and we got on board with the idea of havin' another little bundle of joy. You know what I mean, right? (I promise I'm goin' somewhere with this.)
Fact is, there is pretty much nothin' we can do in a slow-cooker we can't do in the oven or on the stove top. To make a really great dish in a slow-cooker, you do exactly the same work you'd do if you were cookin' using a more traditional method. Slow-cookin' is just one-pot cookin' with a big ol' handy-dandy wall-plug, isn't it? And it's SLOWER. SLO-O-O-O-OW-E-E-E-ER!
Hear me out. To cook the best pot roast in the world in a traditional way, you sear the meat, add your Granny's secret ingredients, shove it in the oven and walk away for two or three hours. Oui? And the only differences to the whole process when you do it in the slow-cooker are that A) you actually have TWO dirty pots to wash up instead of one (can't sear meat in the stoneware of a slow-cooker), and B) you can walk away for EIGHT TO TWELVE hours.
(Oh, and slow-cooking often conveniently erases the guilt of plopping a couple cans of cream-of-whatevah soup into a "wholesome" meal. Can I get an Amen?)
Y'ALL STAY WITH ME.
Now I know that 8-12 hour walk-away time is awesome for work-away-from-home Moms (a selling point, even!), and please do not get me wrong, I am ever-so-glad for the slow-cooker myself (I own two, and I use 'em. A lot.) because even I, Megan-Homebody-FriedOkra, do occasionally wish to leave my house from time to time. But let's face it, truth be told, slow-cooker cooking really isn't as magically EASIER as we've convinced ourselves it is.
The real reason we believe that slow-cooking's SO MUCH EASIER, and thus a life-changingly revolutionaryish thang, is that by the time those eight-to-twelve hours have elapsed and we sit down with our families to eat the (shhh...) exact same meal we'd have eaten if we'd only started the process three hours ago, our Mama-brains have forgotten all about the 7 AM labor-pain of searing and slicing and dicing and can-opening and dumping and washing up, and it seems to us that HEY! Somebody else made dinner while we were off for most of the day doin' whatever we do when we're not cooking.
Here is what I say to Al when we sit down to a meal out of my slow-cooker. Every time! So often that he can and does mouth it along with me, verbatim: Gosh I love my Crock Pot. It's like havin' a cook!
And havin' paid staff to cook for me whenever I want, at the one-time low, low price of about $25 bucks (on sale now at Amazon, y'all!)?
Well heck yeah, I'll LIKE that every time.
Now I just need a plug-in house cleaner.