For the love of the crock pot

One of Andy’s favorite stories to tell about my cooking ability is from the first time I invited him over for dinner. I made him a ham sandwich.

And I saw exactly zero things wrong with this at the time.

My next meal involved the stove, barely. I boiled water, threw in some spaghetti and opened a jar of ragu next to the boiling water to “warm it up” (my words that he likes to repeat with air quotes) and pour over the noodles after they were cooked.

All this to say, Andy didn’t marry me for my cooking skills.

But in the last few years, I started to discover and truly love, the crock pot. I learned to cook some of my most edible meals in it. Chili, pulled pork, red curry lentils, (careful, that last one makes 16 servings- ask me how I know) and more.

Then, Superbowl Sunday happened. Our crock pot made a popping sound and set off a huge spark. Our friend noticed exposed wires in the back and told us he wouldn’t trust it anymore (I didn’t either).

Our other friend tried to encourage us, saying, “Hey, your marriage outlived your crock pot, that’s a really good thing!” Andy said he had bought it used, so it wasn’t a big loss. But I was a little sad. It had become my favorite kitchen appliance.

The next day I decided to find out if a crock pot was one of those things that needed to be recycled. (I don’t know these things, but I was sure google could tell me what to do.) I couldn’t find anything on recycling it, but a comment on a blog showed up with someone talking about a free repair event, hosted regularly in our area.

Basically, anything that can be carried in can be repaired, or at least attempted and then if it can’t be fixed, there’s no loss. I thought it was a pretty cool idea and I was reviewing things that had been repaired before (fans, dvd players) I figured our crock pot could be a great contender.

Then I remembered that my cousin likes to tinker with things and has a strong electrical background. I texted and told him I was pretty sure our crock pot was broken, but did he want to take a look at it? He replied, “I’m always up for a challenge.” I dropped it off the next day.

My cousin is amazing! He figured out what was wrong, replaced some parts with things laying around his house, and a few days later he was testing it by cooking in it. It worked again; I was floored! I felt so green. I wanted to fly a banner in the air that said, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle… or Repair!”

To be honest, I feel a little stupid that I didn’t think of the possibility of repairing it. But I’m so thankful I have a cousin who likes to fix things, and that our crock pot has lived to see another day.

It’s time to make some pulled pork sandwiches again.