Christmas 1978Our Family circa 1978

In October, our Dad retired after decades of working as a diesel mechanic.  He spent those years in a shop that was either the temperature of the Fires of Mordor or the waters surrounding the Titanic.  He spent a lot of time working really hard.  We figured retirement would be no different.  We were totally right.

Since retiring, he has redone their deck, built a pergola, repainted their deck furniture, taken on the house cleaning, begun cooking dinner several nights a week, and so much more.*  Previously, he and Mom would have fit all of the above projects in on the weekends while working full-time jobs.  Except the cooking.  That’s totally new for him, y’all.

And according to Mom, he’s doing a fantastic job.  He has really developed a love of the crock pot, which I totally get.  It works hard for you while you go about your busy day of napping and bonbon eating (Just Kidding, Dad!).  So I thought I would take the opportunity today to share some of the new recipes Dad has tried that have been hits.  Or in Dad’s words, have created “no food caused illnesses yet.”  And for good measure I’ve included a couple of my own faves.  Many of these recipes can be found at the fantastic site, A Year of Slow CookingHope you enjoy.

  1. Crock-Pot Roast–I believe this was the first recipe Dad tried.  Prep time states 15 minutes, but he said it took more like an hour and a half!  He’s gotten faster since then.  Apparently, it was tender and amazing.
  2. Green Tomato Chile Verde–This one comes from Southern Living.  He said he had problems finding green tomatoes this time of year but he found a pretty tasty green tomato salsa to substitute.  Another hit!
  3. Loose Meat Sandwiches–If I haven’t blogged about these before then I am completely sorry.  Remember the TV show Roseanne?  That’s probably why these sandwiches sound familiar to you.  They are tasty and easy and sort of addictive.  We like to dress ours up like a cheeseburger.  Yum.
  4. Candy Chicken–Okay, it’s really called Crock-Pot Brown Sugar Chicken but I have to agree with the author of the recipe, Candy Chicken is more appropriate.  Because it will leave you craving more! We served it over rice with a sprinkle of green onion for the onion eaters in our house.

At this point I was totally going to include a final recipe with a picture of our Crock Pot dinner last night.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get one since my crew seems to fall on meals like a pack of rabid hyenas on a gazelle carcass (Sorry, terrible image).

Please imagine a delicious bowl of hearty beef stew over mashed potatoes…

Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon.  Oh yeah.  That is mashed potatoes you see would see under the stew in the picture if there was a picture.  Make this ASAP.  You’re welcome.

World Wide Webbers:  What do you have crockin’?

*He’s currently building these for all of us.  I know.  You totally wish our Dad was your’s.  It’s okay.  He’s pretty awesome.  You have every reason to be jealous.