It’s All Inside

Folks thought comic Jeff Foxworthy was a hoot and a holler some years back with his “You Know You’re A Redneck If” routine. I have to say though, for anyone who’s spent one iota of time in my home state of the Buckeye groves, rednecks got nothin’ on we Ohioans…especially when it comes to idiosyncratic behavior that even our neighboring Indianans shake their heads at.:razz:

Instead of having a state flower, or secret handshake, we’ve got a state card game, Euchre, whose rules are so complicated that no one in Michigan could possibly understand. 😈 Left bower or right bower? You got the trump suit, baby? In all shuffling the deck seriousness, I’ve never met a sole outside of Ohio who knew how to even pronounce this wild ride of a game, let alone play it! Probably better that way since one you learn the ropes, your productivity is about the same as a long-termer who works for the local DMV.

As for the food, tasty as it is here, Buckeye cuisine is in a class by itself…so freak-show odd it makes Wiener Schnitzel seem mainstream. Growing up, I saw nothing unusual about eating peanutbutter and butter sandwiches, putting truckloads full of ketchup on my scrambled eggs (affectionately called lil’ yolkies) and scarfing down large weekly consumptions of Johnny Marzetti, a delish cream-based soup casserole that sounds like a man you might meet on-line but is really a traditional post-funeral dish often prepared by your Great Aunt Freda. This is to say nothing about the one-of-a kind meats brought to us courtesy of the Amish including Dutchloaf, trail bologna, broasted chicken and ham balls, a public health apocolypse in wait but nonetheless the most lip-smacking meat that will ever touch your lips. You just haven’t lived until you’ve had hamballs with maple syrup sauce over buttered noodles. Mmm…mmm…

Which brings me to today’s topic: the tride and true, timeless miracle of the crockpot. For those of you outside the Midwestern heartland, no I am not speaking of a new garden tool but of a firecracker cooking utensil that will save you time, money and whip up the best darned oreo cheesecake this side of the Mississippi!

I confess I am an avid crock groupie. There is not a season or occasion for which the crockpot can not be come out to play. Christmas…eggnog and BBQ weenies. Superbowl…chili. Thanksgiving…crockpot stuffing, one of my personal favy-faves. Unwieldy family gathering…a Sam’s club-size portion of lasagna. Easter…marshmallow yams. Rosh Hashanah…7-UP and catalina dressing covered brisket. The modern woman on the go would do well to invest $20 in this hot bowl that can, in 4-5 hours with no muss and fuss, turn random ingredients into a tasty stew or brew. Mulled apple cider is not just for Halloween anymore.

My advice? Run, don’t walk to your neighborhood Target and pick up the ‘Pot pronto. You won’t be sorry and as a bonus, be assured you will be in the vanguard of retro hipness. After all, even Williams and Sonoma recently issued a “Slow Cooker Cookbook” available in all luxury mall locales coast-to-coast. Dal or roasted rosemary rack of lamb and veggies anyone?:cheer:

Good luck, god speed and happy cooking! Look for some of my favorite recipes in the coming days.

That Little Red-Headed Girl:kiss1:

Next Page »