A whole lot of NOTHING is going on around my home. And I DO mean NOTHING. Well….except for sleeping at night, napping during the day, and watching a lot of YouTube craft videos, catching up on blogs I’ve missed, and whittling away at the 189 recorded television programs on our Dish Network DVR machine.
Being on the road as a truck driver means constant vigilance. Hyper vigilance. Making sure I don’t miss an exit on the highway. Miss an exit and there is a good chance I will have to drive 10 miles before I can get back where I needed to be. Done that before…..several times. Then there is my most favorite (NOT) thing to do while driving….maneuvering through construction zones. There is always some highway under construction. Barrels and cones to mark the travel lanes. Some of these lanes are a bit narrow for big trucks and that requires constant attention while traveling through the blasted things.
My next LEAST favorite thing is the little cars with inattentive drivers. Their exit is approaching….they are in the third lane to the left while I am in the third lane to the right. The inattentive driver cuts from the far left lane, passes through the center lane, then just misses the nose of my truck while they scurry their way to the exit. ARRRRRGH! And what makes this even worse are the POLICE OFFICERS that do this to me!!!!
Then there are the other truck drivers that think the highways are some blasted NASCAR raceway. These big trucks drive up close to my back truck and stay there. I’ve watched many INCONSIDERATE AND STUPID, truck drivers follow so close to a little car that it is dangerous. DANGEROUS! These truck drivers get tired of following behind me at a snail’s pace (to their way of thinking) and they pass me. Slipping back over to the right lane and just missing the nose of my truck. THAT really makes my blood boil. They know better than that.
Okay, so you may have noticed that I have a bit of road rage going on here.
I have to DECOMPRESS while I’m at home. Shake off all the bad feelings I get from the road rage and chill out. That means shutting my brain off and going on autopilot for a few days. While home I stay home. I try to stay home, I should say. Joe often has other ideas and he gets barked at. The bark noise and length is dependent upon how much decompression I have managed to get done. Next day after finally getting home the bark is more like a ferocious doberman pincher ready to tear his head off. Give me a few days of decompression and I bark like one of those nasty little noisy Chihuahuas. Yap, yap, yap. Quiet for a minute then more yapping.
Needless to say, Joe has learned when to leave me alone and when to broach the subject of leaving the house.
Okay, now that I’ve totally put you in “whine rage” mode…..”Shut up already, will you!”….I’ll get to the point of this post.
In May, while on the road, I overheard some women talking about their crockpots. Joe and I were in a restaurant, somewhere, when this conversation was going on. One of the women said she puts her entire dinner in the crockpot and goes to work. Baked potatoes, corn on the cob, marinated steaks. All wrapped in foil and the crockpot put on LOW for 5 to 10 hours.
This is my crockpot.
Sorry about the really bad photo. This was an after thought. I had everything loaded in it and said “Wait, unload it and show the thing empty.
I had a picnic ham in the freezer that I let thaw out in the refrigerator. The original picnic ham I had the butcher cut into three portions at the grocery store. Each portion was then frozen. Okay…..yada, yada, yada.
After the ham thawed I poked whole cloves into the meat, both top and bottom.
Smeared the top and bottom of the ham with half a bottle of Smucker’s Orange Marmalade. Covered the entire ham portion tightly in aluminum foil.
New Year‘s Joe makes some really awesome baked beans. I fill a mini loaf tin with the extra beans, cover the tin in foil and then use my FoodSaver to seal it up and put it in the freezer for a later time. This was the “later” time.
I took the tin out of the plastic freezer bag before I put it in the crockpot.
Next were a couple of sweet potatoes poked liberally for steam vents and wrapped in aluminum foil.
It took a bit of finagling to get everything in the crockpot. The ham was too long to fit. I had to put the frozen baked beans in the bottom of the crockpot, ham on top of the beans, the sweet potatoes atop the ham.
Another really bad photo. I’m sorry. This is of everything crammed into the crockpot. DO NOT add water to your crockpot. Just fill it with your aluminum foil covered food items.
Put the lid on.
Put your cooker on LOW. Then walk away for 5 hours and do whatever you need to do. As for me, that was five more hours of nothing.
One of the sweet potatoes didn’t get fully cooked. The one I show in this post was still a tiny bit hard after the 5 hours of cooking. I should have put that one down in the bottom with the frozen baked beans. The ham juices came out of the foil and ran into the crockpot. No big deal.
The ham was quite dry when this cooking process was finished. Flavorful….but dry. I probably could have got away with 3 hours of cooking time instead of the 5.
All in all this did work. Best of all my home was cool when it was time for dinner and I was not all sweaty from having the oven heat up the house.
The night before I tried the baked potato and corn on the cob idea I overheard. Same thing. Wrap the potatoes in aluminum foil. Poke holes in the potatoes first before you cover them. Wrap each corn ear in foil as well. Cook the potatoes for 8 hours. You can place pats of butter in the foil and season your corn. I didn’t do that. Check out this link for crockpot baked potatoes.
The potato “meat” will turn an amber color. Cooked in the crockpot the potatoes will not have the white fluffy color as they would in a regular oven. I don’t know why they do that…..so be prepared to see the discolored inside of the baked potato.
The corn ears were overdone and almost mushy. So the corn could have gone in about hour 6 of the baking time and they may have been better.
Joe fired up the grill and cooked our steaks out there.
Once again, a full dinner without all the heat in the kitchen.
Let me know if you have tried this before and what you find successful. If you have NOT done this before and give it a try…..let me know what your results were. Would you do this again….or not.