In many respects it's been a perfect fall--warm weather, slow-ish schedule (by our standards, anyway), no one testing for a black belt which frees up our weekends, no sickness, a fine balance of work and play. The boys are still loving on the giant dirt pile by the shed project and messing around with the scrap lumber they rescued from the dumpster. I'm puttering around my new garden fence, splitting perennials and moving stuff around to make it look pretty next spring. School, church, karate, cross-country, flag football, play-dates (the kid AND the adult kind). It's plenty, but not overwhelming.
But there have been little things jamming up my days. Contractors with questions. A pitch for a project. Orthodontist appointments (yes, Mr. T will soon wear heavy metal in his mouth). Fussing over revisions, fall cleaning (and re-cleaning) and meetings.
The worst, absolute worst part of my day is around 4:50 when I've got Mr. T home from cross-country, all the homework checked over and miscellaneous paperwork signed, and Mr. D's coming home from work sometime in the next hour (or two--it always varies). Everyone is hungry and I've been too darn busy to putz around in the kitchen because I've been driving and finding the common denominator and cross-checking schedules to coordinate car pools.
Enter the crock pot. When I spend a few minutes prepping a meal after sending the kids to school and turn that baby on "low," it makes my whole day awesome. There on my kitchen counter is the promise of a hot meal whenevertheheck we're ready to sit down and eat it. It will be ready. It will be hot. It will be hot if we eat it in shifts or as one big happy family. It's in one pot and easy to clean up. Added bonus: the house is filled with the promise of a tasty meal because we can smell it cooking all afternoon.
I'm not fretting about dinner if I plug in the crock pot mid-morning. In fact, I get a whole day of inner peace because I'm prepared ahead of time.
Take out will always be my first favorite meal because there's NO labor involved. Leftovers will always be my second favorite meal because it's a responsible use of resources and requires minimal labor. But sweet, dependable crock pot--you have my vote for third favorite because you calm the chaos and bring me inner peace.
Spill it, reader. Are you a crock pot cooker?