The Search for the Perfect Crock Pot

Today I went on a search for a programmable crock pot. I have several slow-cooker recipe books. What I wanted to find was a crock pot that I could load with oatmeal the night before and “program” for a hot breakfast.

Really, he could care less about Crock-pots.
Really, he could care less about Crock-pots.

I’ve seen a lot of different “programmable” crock-pot/slow-cookers”. They have the word “programmable” on the box. These range in price between $175.00(Ninja) to $39.00(CrockPot). So, armed with my Kohl’s gift certificate I set out at about 10 AM this morning.

Houston’s weather is a weird thing to factor into any planning in January. Some days it might be 40 degrees, other days it might be 75 degrees (and people will still light a fire in the fireplace for the ambiance). Yesterday it was 18 degrees and today it was about 50 degrees with light rain. The weather is like a roller coaster here. You only have to board the ride to get by.

So I wrapped up in a jacket and went to Kohl’s. I exited the Beechnut ramp and turned into the Meyerland shopping center. Wasn’t that where Kohl’s was? I circled, and circled, past the Target, past the Palais Royale, past the Cafe Express. No Kohl’s. I was about to message my daughter to see if she could tell me where it was and remembered Kohl’s was one exit up. So I rode the feeder to the appropriate turn-off and went in. After searching the store, the item I had seen last year was no longer offered. Instead they had no programmable slow-cookers under $60 (CrockPot and Hamilton Beach and Ninja).

I spent my $25 gift certificate on two blue rugs.

I went back to the Meyerland Shopping Center and parked at the Target. Dashing through the rain I made it in. And…they had the perfect programmable Crock Pot for $49, which is a very nice price. I levered the big box into the cart and checked out. The check-out price was $60.

Nope, that’s not what the ticket on the shelf said.

I pushed my basket of crock pot back to the aisle and engaged a busy-looking clerk to help me identify the problem. She said that while the crock pot above the aforementioned sales price was the one I bought, the one below it on the shelf was the actual item for sale. Okay. I took both items to the customer service desk and asked for an exchange. They gladly exchanged the item and gave me the money back with no problem.

I went to the grocery store and bought the items I was cooking for supper in the new slow-cooker. I went home and unpacked the new slow-cooker. I began reading the directions. The box said “programmable” but the inside directions said, there were three preset temperature settings only – Low, Medium, and High.

I repacked the thing with all the weird packing bits that fit together like a puzzle and require genius level reasoning to reassemble. I went to all this trouble for a “programmable” slow-cooker, so Mama don’t settle for no pre-sets YO!

Besides, it was only 3 PM and so I still had time for a slow-cooked meal. Tonight’s meal was to be comfort food. Okay, something hot will do.

Besides, I have an excellent book on tape in my car that explains all this running around Houston looking for a crock pot business. Peter Straub, Lost Girl, Lost Boy…scary good book.

Went back to a Target closer to home and explained that I had just bought this slow cooker at another Target thinking it was programmable because it said it was programmable. They gave me my money back. I thought, well, I might as well look here. Different Targets stock different things. So I went looking and sure enough I found a slow cooker. A Crock Pot brand 6 Quart, that said “programmable” on the box. I looked it over. It looked good. I bought it. It was $39.00. I saved $10 or $20 over the last few choices I had picked.

I took it home, unpacked it and set it up.

It was exactly like the last one, without the “warm food temp” gage on the dial, which I suppose is what cost the $10 extra.

I guess “Programmable” means I can turn it to one of the three “preset” settings of “Low, Medium, or High” and then when that setting is completed, it automatically switches to “Warm”.

Comforting to know that with all that trouble taken I ended up with the same type of Crock Pot that I had back in the 80’s. It cooked well enough back then, so I will settle down and do with it what I will. I figure if I want oatmeal in the morning I’ll have to set it at a low temp for eight hours (who sleeps longer than that?) and that should be that, or, dare-I-say-it, I’ll be forced to cook my oatmeal the old-fashioned way

Tonight’s Chicken Marsala came out excellent. Hope your supper tonight was just as warm and lovely.

Stay warm, my friends.

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