This quote by Julia Childs could have been said by me, except I didn’t attempt cooking until after I sold my restaurant when I was 36.
When I owned my restaurant / bar during the decadent 80′s it was the dance floor pumping out post- disco tunes that drew in the customers, strawberry daiquiris fueled the crowds and the kitchen, well, it was there because we needed it in order to have a liquor license, certainly not because I knew anything about how to navigate my way around one. Yet, in spite of me, the kitchen rocked, pumping out good food and scoring rave reviews. The chef made it clear I was not welcomed in his domain on a busy night. He said the panicked look on my face when I witnessed what he called, organized chaos, disrupted the flow of their work. Actually, I think his exact words may have been “their art.”
Then, I moved to a very tiny place in Mexico with limited supplies and all the cookbooks, including one of Julia’s that I’d brought with me with the good intentions of learning to cook, sat neglected on a shelf. I forged for food at the Municipal Market, absorbing the foreign fare and loving the exotic names like chipolte, jicama, cabrilla and sandia. But, I didn’t know what to do with any of it. I’d go home with the sandia. I knew what to do with watermelon. I ate a lot of fruit back then and a lot of restaurant tacos.
Jump forward a few years and voilá, I discovered the crockpot. Well, I didn’t actually discover it Rival did. Had I paid attention when every household starting in the seventies was using one, I would have known, they save time, are effortless, make sub-standard ingredients come to life, save money and can cook up dishes that will impress guests.
My dinner the other night was a success. When I told my guest the soup and the dessert were made in a crockpot the response was, hesitant recognition. They’d forgotten about their crockpots having moved onto panini machines and other such small appliances that I will need another lifetime to catch up with.
I figure with the current trend heading towards simplification, that for once in my life in the culinary arena, I just might be on the cutting edge of the revival of an old one.
I did some research tonight as I was writing this post and discovered I’m not alone in my enjoyment of the crockpot. Here is a link to a blog A Year of CrockPotting. Today Stephanie the author is on her 315th day in her journey to use her crockpot every day for one year. I am definitely plugging into her blog and can’t wait to try the recipes she’s been posting. She is my kind of cook.