It had to be done; I broke up with my crockpot.

I was really into cooking about a year and a half ago. I would bust out homemade meals and chicken pot pie from scratch like a crazed Betty Crocker. I’d scour the internet for the best recipes, tweak them, and come up with ultimate masterpieces. I was so into it, I even used GARNISHES. That alone shows serious dedication.

Sure enough, every meal I made, my kid hated and the “from scratch technique” quickly lost its allure. I scaled back on my Gordon Ramsay techniques and went back to basics, so to speak.

Well, I’ve really fallen off the wagon and haven’t been contributing at all. Like AT ALL, at all. My poor husband was left slaving away in the kitchen each night preparing meals and would even clean up the dishes because his wife became hooked to 14 shows on Netflix.

I decided that I needed to turn that shit around. I wasn’t being a fair team player. That is what we are after all, a team. We have a pretty even keeled partnership; we both work the same amount of hours, we both take care of our child equally, and overall, we contribute equally to our family.

I work from home so I figured that crockpot recipes would be the best place to start. I could pop something in around noon and by the time my dinosaur family was all back to the pad, we’d all chow down together. Furthermore, I felt like I was contributing a bit more, you know, evening out the playing field when it came to dinner duty.

Down the aisles of the amazing Trader Joe’s, I came up with so many excellent crockpot endeavors. My first go-to was a whole chicken with lemon, rosemary, 21 Seasoning Salute, and onions.

I popped that bitch in the crock pot at 11:00AM and set it to low.

By 12:00PM, I could smell the aroma seeping into my office from the kitchen. 

“OMG, THIS IS GOING TO TASTE EXCELLENT!” I thought to myself.

By 2:00PM, the aroma was so powerful, I decided to head into the kitchen, take the lid off and check to make sure my chicken wasn’t overcooking. The wave of rosemary, lemon, chicken-y goodness that hit my nasal cavity was overpowering. I wanted to eat it. I wanted to eat it NOW.

I resisted the urge and made a quick sandwich and went back to work…

…but the smell…

….it smelled so good…

I closed the door to my office and lit a candle. I wasn’t getting anything done because all I could see, everywhere I looked, was a giant chicken dressed in sliced lemons and rosemary TAUNTING ME.

By 3:00PM, it was over. I went into the kitchen and started slicing into the parts of the chicken that I KNEW had to be done. The legs. I started with the legs.

That was enough to pull myself back together, get back to work, and allow the chicken with two devoured legs to continue cooking.

4:00PM hit and I decided to call that work-day, a Tuesday, “Early Release.” My child is granted a ton of early release days at school, why couldn’t I have an early release from work?

I decided to watch an episode of OITNB on Netflix. I got completely distracted on a cafeteria scene I was watching because…..all I could smell was my rosemary, lemon, delicious chicken coming from the kitchen

My entire home was screaming: “ASHLEY, YOUR HO– USE SMELLS LIKE A DELICIOUS CHICKEN AND YOU SHOULD REALLY JUST EAT THE FUCKING CHICKEN.”

I take good care of my home and I truly value her opinion, so obviously I followed her shout of instructions.

I ran, more so, dove, into the kitchen and ripped that chicken out of the crock pot and slammed it down on the gleaming granite countertops and WENT.TO.TOWN.

The perfect chicken was so hot, it was burning my fingertips off, but that didn’t stop me; I kept eating…and eating..

My family came home and asked what smelled so good.

“The chicken that I made for dinner tonight…that I ate.” I told them.

“All of it?” they asked.

“Well, there is a little bit left. If it’s not enough… here, let me whip something else up.” I responded

“I can’t believe you ate nearly an entire chicken, Ashley! Who eats an entire chicken in the middle of the afternoon?!” my husband questioned.

He wasn’t “getting it”: “Do you understand how hard it is to make a chicken? Well, it wasn’t hard at all, actually. But, do you UNDERSTAND how hard it is to smell that AMAZING smell you are now breathing into your lungs…ALL FUCKING DAY? It’s like throwing a person into a Krispy Creme factory and telling them they have to wait until the end of their shift to eat a doughnut! NOT POSSIBLE!” I tried my very best to explain…

The following day, I decided to slow-cook a pork tenderloin. I dropped the log of meat into the crock pot and doused it with barbecue sauce. I had a gut-instinct that I would be able to control myself this time. It didn’t look pretty at all. A brown log in a crock pot—-I could totally handle this one.

Sure enough, three hours later, my entire home smelled like Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce factory and I was drooling all over my computer keyboard.

I walked into the kitchen and took the lid off the crock pot and was hit, again, with the most powerful, delicious aroma. My mind immediately took me to this fantastic barbecue grill I ate at in Texas and my knees started shaking.

I was losing my control…well, not that I had much to start with.

I delicately sliced into the tenderloin and it was already cooked to perfection. I figured that since it was over a pound of meat, eating just a little wouldn’t hurt anyone…

Just as the day prior, my family came home a few hours later from their work/school day and asked what smelled so good.

I looked at them both, face covered in barbecue sauce with a piece of pulled pork stuck to my left eyebrow and proclaimed: “We are going out to eat tonight! My treat!”

If I learned anything from this relationship with my crockpot, it’s that I have no self-control.

And, that’s the story of how my crockpot and I broke up.

Ashley Alteman
Author

Ashley Alteman is known for her love of dinosaurs, ponies wearing sweaters, and overuse of commas. She is an editor’s nightmare. She won a spelling bee in the 8th grade for correctly spelling “carrot” and knew from that moment she was destined to be an amazing journalist, or a sarcastic blogger; she went with the latter. Ashley details her laugh-out-loud parenting and personal fails at SmashleyAshley.com. You can also find this hot mess fumbling around on Facebook

2 Comments

  1. I can totally relate…on a slightly different level. I LOVE the crockpot, and can hold out until dinner, although I completely feel your pain with those amazing smells coming from the kitchen all day. The issue I have is not with the crockpot, but with the recipes. I had this idea that I could just throw things together in the crockpot, set it on low for hours, and then have dinner ready. But it seems to me that most of the recipes I am finding require an insane amount of pre-work before putting everything into the pot. And for me, that kind of misses the point. If I have to spend more than 15 minutes cutting, dicing, frying or pre-cooking anything, I would rather just cook the meal and not wait 7 hours for dinner. My frustrations have led me to use the crockpot much less than I had anticipated when I first got it, and it bums me out to have something that isn’t as convenient as I needed it to be. So, although I haven’t completely broken up with my crockpot, I am definitely looking to see what else is out there. 🙂

  2. Anne Radcliffe

    The lemon chicken is definitely angst free. I know because Ashley and I concocted various spins on lemon chicken while I was doing a SNAP challenge for YMC. I couldn’t afford rosemary in my deliberately limited budget, but I did have some white wine, and the total prep time was about 10 minutes. Just enough time to chop two carrots and potatoes and the lemon. 😉 I even threw the sucker in frozen to see how it would come out, and it was good. Lemon crockpot chicken is a win!

    http://www.yummymummyclub.ca/blogs/anne-radcliffe-dinner-its-not-rocket-science/20150513/slowcooker-baked-chicken-recipe

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