I’m sure you’ve heard of the slow food movement. The Husband has been familiar with slow food for quite some time, as it takes me for-eh-vah to cook anything. So it is hard for me to think that something involving a slow cooker actually gets meals done faster.
For me, it may be too fast. I have a slow cooker book that I love, called The Vegan Slow Cooker, and I have enjoyed a few recipes from it… but I tend not to cook from it.
Now, I’ve purchased a whole second slow cooker book… and why would I do that when I tend to not like my slow cooker?!
The book: Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson.
Why do you have it?
I have three of this woman’s books, all of which I love when I’m not lovin’ on Isa
. And I do like the concept of slow cooking.
Well, why hadn’t you cooked from it yet? Relative newness of the book… and my burnination of everything crock-pot. The Husband says this is because slow cookers are set to cook hotter than they used to due to folks complaining about under-cooked .. things I’ll never eat again. In any case, it’s a delicate dance.
Did you have difficulty deciding on a recipe? Truly not, there were several I wanted to try.
What did you make? Barley and Kamut Breakfast Pilaf. 1) I love Barley, 2) I love Breakfast, 3) I love slow cooked porridge/oatmeal, 4) I love puffed kamut, but did not really love the grain… and if a slow cooker couldn’t get some tenderness into it, I didn’t think anything would. At least it would reduce my kamut inventory.
How did the cook go? True story, cooked this twice. And not for happy reasons nor for reasons against the author or the book. The first time, the only dried fruit I had in the house was raisins. I didn’t want this to be all raisins, so I had a brilliant idea of adding apple… and the not-so-brilliant idea of adding the apple at the beginning of the cook rather than the end. The second time (as I wanted to give this book a second chance with just dried fruit) was pretty straight forward. Best part is that I timed things such that my pot didn’t burn the living daylights out of the grain mixture.
Did you modify? Because we know you can’t help yourself. The first cook’s fresh apple was the only mod, and was not repeated. Well, I also used barley that was not pearled, as i don’t do pearled normally.
How did the eat go? Bad news, I just really hate kamut. The logic of the recipe, however, was very sound. Kamut just doesn’t get glutenous like oatmeal or (to a lesser degree) rice or barley… but the addition of some oats gives it that glutteny texture. The kamut does cook down to be chewy and tender (which it needs) and goes nicely with the barley. That being said… I wasn’t a fan of my apple-butter version nor the version as written.
And The Husband? He loved both versions! He was very happy to take them off my hands, so that is a good sign. PS - As a visual aid, the first picture in this post is the “apple butter” version, and pictures 2 and 3 are “normal version”.
Will you cook from this book again? Yes. Even though I didn’t particularly care for this recipe, due to the sound construction of this recipe and my piqued interest in the other recipes, I will give this book a few more chances. I hope to share my findings with you right here at this very blog.
So, you like it fresh and slow? The concept would be great, so long as I time the recipe right. Nothing’s simpler than chopping up a few veg and bunging everything into a slow cooker. Usually to get the awesome cook aroma, I’ll cook and eat dinner, then go out (shopping, walking, whatever) walk back into the house and breath in the delicious aroma that was dinner. Slow cooking is even better then that, because you can walk home to have dinner ready and smelling gorgeous.
I guess that’s why I give my crock-pot hundreds of second chances!