An ode to the slow cooker

It looks like summer is fading away and, as we head into my favourite season, it’s time to look out the blankets and (far more importantly) my old friend the slow cooker.

Ohhhh wonderous maker of stews and soups! I know you can do more – I have the books that tell me this – so I apologise that I don’t make better use of you but, let’s be honest, your convenience is your strength and I am little more than a chopper of foods, ready for your welcoming pot.

I tend to stick to simple recipes, brown some meat here, chop some veg there, add some stock and herbs, and we are ready to rock. I’ve done pulled pork, split pea and ham soup (a childhood fav), and numerous variations of stews.

There really is something wonderful about coming home on a chilly evening and being greeted by the welcoming aromas of a homemade bolognaise or chilli.

I feel an ode coming on…

The simplicity of your being,
the open welcoming pot,
calls to me at the chopping board.

The blade falls,
vegetables split and scurry,
escaping from board to floor (to bin).

On the stove a warming pan,
ready to play its part,
the sizzle of beef sears the air.

Half moons emerge,
spicing the air,
and soon to be golden brown (texture like sun)

One by one,
the pot is filled,
meats and vegs galore.

Broth is added,
the lid is set,
and you begin your magic.

Hours later a waft,
a deep rich aroma,
red wine and herbs bubble.

Autumn has arrived.

OK, suffice to say that Elizabeth Barrett Browning doesn’t need to worry but it’s true. I love autumn, I love the changing temperatures and those sneakily glorious blue skies days that are best enjoyed beneath hat and scarf. Ahhh yes, tis the season of warming comfort food and I don’t think there is any better device to accompany the changing of the leaves.