No walk for me today. Between all the down pours that are passing through our area and the errands I needed to run, and the trips to get the dogs - all 3 dogs - the day just didn't have enough hours in it for a walk. It is a shame, because I would enjoy a rainy walk today.
Before I left on my errands this morning, I set up dinner in the crock pot. There would be no time for making dinner later in the day. I love my crock pots (all 3 of them), and I love having dinner pretty much made by dinner time. Crock pot cooking is something that I do all year long, but fall and winter are the best times for using the crock pot, because the meals are usually stick-to-your-ribs in character. Perfect for cold and rainy days. And you don't have to be a great cook to use a crock pot - even a mediocre cook like myself can place a great meal on the table with the help of a slow cooker. The book pictured is called Make It Fast, Cook It Slow by Stephanie O'Dea. I love this book for several reasons. First and foremost, she is a blogger. In 2008 she made a New Year's resolution to use her slow cooker every single day for a year and document her results daily on her personal web site called Crockpot365.blogspot.com. By the time I discovered her, she was just about ready to release this book. Like most cookbooks, she has recipes. No surprise (but wouldn't it be fun to issue a cookbook with no recipes!! Maybe just talk about recipes but no actual recipies??? Ok, that is a dud of an idea, even for me). But what is charming is that on many of the recipes, she has a section called "The Verdict". Here she documents her experience in making the recipe and how her family felt about it. This section sounds just like excerpts from her blog.
This recipe is not from the book. This morning I didn't have time to plan anything. I just marched to my pantry, openned the door and hoped that something in there would go with beef. After I ruled out Marshmellow Fluff and Cheerios, I settled on garlic, mushroom soup and Beef Broth. Later when it is closer to dinner I will taste it and decide what else I should add. I think I will add some thickening agent and then serve it over rice. That is what is so great about crock pot cooking. You almost can't go wrong (well, maybe if you added the Marshmellow Fluff ... that would be bad).
It doesn't look like much but the smell is really wonderful.
Towards the end of the morning I was traveling north on Route 95 with Milo sleeping peacefully beside me. The rain was so heavy at times that it collected on the roadway. There had to be 3-4 inches of standing water. It is unusual to see that much standing water on a major modern highway in our area. Roadways are graded to avoid just that scenario. At one point I glanced to my right - looking east - and was startled to see that there were no geographic features to be seen. A light steel gray color extended from the ground right up to the sky as far as you could see. Looking left to the west, geographical features could still be seen. I couldn't help glancing frequently to the east to make sure my eyes weren't playing games with me. And looking north, the sky was a dark steel gray in color. I was definitely driving into the worst of it. I was very glad to get home where the fragrance of tonight's dinner had filled the house. I usually like big weather events, but I like them best viewed from my front living room window with a cup of hot coffee in my hand. :-)
The rest of the day should be a very quiet and uneventful time. It is the sort of a day you can curl up on the couch with a good book or knitting, or maybe watch a movie ... and be grateful for the tranquility of your home. Of course, with 3 dogs in the house today through tomorrow evening, there is little chance that things will be quiet or tranquil.
Oh well, I dream on.