Saturday, January 05, 2008

Oh, Puhhhhhhleeeeeeze!!!

The other night, I saw a commercial for McCain's Slow Cooker Solutions. I was so shocked that there would even be a need for a product like this! After laughing like crazy, I looked at Hubby and said, "Why? Why would anyone need to buy something like that?"

After all, the job of a slow cooker is to make your life easier already. How much more effort does it take to cut up a few vegetables and meat (if you wish) and add a few spices? The slow cooker does everything for you. All you do is put in your ingredients and then turn it on.

I know that parents are busy, work is hard, and when one comes home the last thing they need to do is prepare a labour-intensive meal for their family. I get that. I totally get it. What I don't get is this product that McCain has just introduced. If you have a slow cooker, then you've already saved time and energy. It doesn't take too much more effort to just cut up some veggies and meat and pop it into the slow cooker...and you can save a lot of money by not buying already-prepared stuff.

When we've got a house full of students 24-7, and I'm teaching all day, I sometimes use my slow cooker. I just love our Crock-Pot!!! Oftentimes, it's my kitchen (and sanity) saviour. All the other meals I make take less than an hour to prep and cook.

If you're being green, by doing the prep work yourself, there will be less packaging to be landfilled.

All of the thoughts and opinions voiced on this blog are my own personal thoughts and opinions. Please be advised that I in no way, shape or form intend to offend anyone.


hubby said...

The slow cooker is just another way of preparing food that in the old times, was done over an open fire or wood stove and left to simmer all day.

The food tastes extra savoury.

McCain's gets very well paid with this new product for doing the prep work for you.

Palm Springs Savant said...

well I have to say, I always thought these things were foolish. Until we were given one for Christmas years ago. I only use it every once in awhile but I must say it is pretty nice to come home from work and dinner is ready..

I prepare everything raw the night before, and put the ceramic part inthe fridge. Before I leave for work I turn on the crock pot and leave. It slow cooks all day and is really handy.

C said...

I love a good slow cooked meal too.

Palm Springs Savant:
Oh, I totally agree with you :) I just LOVE our slow cooker! We were given a 6 qt slow cooker for a wedding present. I use it often enough and love that it's so hassle-free!

Neat idea about preparing everything raw at night and putting the ceramic part in the fridge! I sometimes prepare everything the night before but leave it in containers (I wasn't sure if the cold from the fridge and the heat from the slow cooker would crack the ceramic part) and then put them in the ceramic part in the morning. That, or I do everything first thing in the morning before starting my day...and when all the work is done for the day, supper is ready!

C said...

I love our slow cooker...just not the idea of "slow cooker solutions" in a carton. Remove from container, put into slow cooker, turn on. "No mess, no fuss, no clean up". With preparing everything yourself and then putting it into the crock pot, it doesn't take long at all.

Man, am I ever opinionated today, aren't I? LOL!

FancyMomma said...

I don't have a slow cooker but really want to get one. I plan to soon. I hope there are lots of good vegetarian recipes!

As for the McCain thing, eh. If I had a slow cooker, I'd probably keep a few of these on hand for emergencies. I wouldn't use them regularily a full-time working mother with a full-tinme working husband and a child, life can be very very hectic and I certainly find it useful to have some frozen meals on hand for those days I just don't have time to prepare/don't know what I feel like preparing/don't have what I need on hand to prepare anything/am feeling very very lazy.

Preparing stuff at night or in the morning is sometimes doable, sometimes not so much. Sometimes, ther is no time to take a crap leave alone cut up vegetables! Sometimes there is nothing in the fridge to prepare...and popping by the store between grocery shopping trips takes on a whole new meaning when you work out of the house full-time and have a kid! No more stopping buy the store on the way home, the day-care clock is ticking!

Of course my daughter is almost 5 now and I have a less hectic job than I did when she was younger so things are pretty doable and I use convenience foods much much less than I did when she was younger...but who knows what the future holds? If I get a slow-cooker, I'll be glad to know these things exist (except I think none of them are veggie anyways!).

I know people that don't have kids hate hearing this (I did too), but you really don't get what it is like until you do. Once you add work...well...I'll just say working full-time out of the home with a (small) child is the hardest thing I have ever done. Anything that makes it easier and doesn't include tossing the kid out the window is good IMO!

Cherry said...

I'm out of the house too long to use a slow cooker (at least the one that we have).

We have a product down here that is similar, and I admit that I wanted to check it out. It's been years now and I still haven't, so I probably never will.

Funny thing, I'm a total planner, but not when it comes to cooking everyday meals. So even days when I'm working from home, I still wouldn't be prepared enough in the morning to get it turn on unless I REALLY wanted to. Maybe someday I'll really want to!

Dina said...

i guess the appeal of this product is similar to the appeal of buying frozen lasagna, frozen pizza or anything else that helps make life easier. Most of the work is done for you and you don't have to worry about having the ingrediants on hand or chopping up meat and vegitables- if i had a slow cooker i'd probaby buy this product to test it out. anything to make life a little less hectic is a winner in my opinion.

C said...

Hi! I think you're right...the Slow Cooker Solutions currently come in three types and none of them are vegetarian. There are two chicken dishes and one beef dish.

I hear ya on the full-time, working mom part too. No offense taken at the people who don't have kids part. When we have students with us, they are with us 24-7. I've got to prepare all the meals, do all the cleaning, do all the shopping, do all the laundry, be responsible for all these kids who are living with us but aren't even ours...and teach all day. The teaching part requires curriculum development, correcting homework, etc, etc, etc.

Many people think that because you have your own business, that you have an easier job than people who work out of the house. I know you didn't say that, but I have a few friends who seem to think that when you have your own business, you have all the free time in the world. In fact, I find it was much easier to work out of the house than running a business from home. So, with teaching 9-12 and 1-4 and everything else, with sometimes 4 or more students at my heels, I kind of know what you mean about the hassles of cooking supper.

I guess I just never grew up with the ready-made frozen dinner type things. My parents were both working parents and they always seemed to make fast, delicious meals for us growing up. I love to cook for people too, so I do my prep work when I have time. I make batches of food and freeze them too for when I need something quick. Anyway, like I said, these are just my opinions. I totally hear where you're coming from. I suppose when we do have kids of our own, I probably won't feel like cooking as much as I do now. Who knows? :)

P.S. Is The Girl really almost 5? Oh my goodness! Time flies by so quickly!!!

P.P.S. I am going to try the tennis ball idea you gave. The golf balls just don't cut it! :)

C said...

Yeah, the slow cooker we have says to cook most of the meals on low for up to 8 hrs and on high for up to 6 hrs. If you're out of the house for anything longer than 8 hrs, then I guess it would be too long...or you'd have really, really soft...err...tender food! ;)

Totally hear ya on this one. I guess my parents have corrupted me with making stuff from scratch. I just can't bring myself to buying something that I know I can make on my own that is easy and healthy...and not with added preservatives. I just thought that slow cookers were already pretty hassle free.

I didn't know you that you don't have a slow cooker! I know what to get you for your birthday! :) If you do get the Slow Cooker Solutions from McCain, let me know how they taste.

D'Rae said...

Here in the states we have a few different versions of those things. We tried them once but didn't like them. The home-made versions are so much better! But, they are handy to have on hand in an emergency for when you don't feel like doing all of the choppig and cutting.

hotmommy said...

chrissy you kknow me; i would totally buy a freezer full of those things! {{{{{{{lol}}}}}}}}} i just don't like cooking. the kids kind of like the frozen pizza pockets and nuggets. frozen lasagnas are the best inventions ever and i don't even work outside the hosue! you know me and homemade from a box!

FancyMomma said...

C, the difference with your student is that they aren't very young children.

I have no doubt that owning your own business is hard work, as is having students in your home...but from what I have seen they are all school aged or older.

Working parents often start working (in Canada) when thier kids are 1! A toddler or pre-schooler year old does not help out in the kitchen, cannot just be popped in the car to run to the store very easily, and often is hanging from your leg or whining for your attention from the the second you walk in the door until they are asleep...making dinner with a tooder or pre-school that has not seen you all day is...well...rough, really rough!

Mornings with little ones are tough is very hard to get mommy, daddy and young child all fed, dressed and out the door by 7:30am, forget about being organized or having time to cut veggies for the slow-cooker.

That is why I was saying it is easier now. The girl is just now getting old enough that she can generally occupy herself while I am making dinner. I imagine in a few years it will be even better, as (if my neices and nephews are any indication) she'll be too busy on the computer, playing video games, talking on the phone or doing homework to bother me when I am making dinner...and indeed the new challenge will be to get her to spend time with me instead of to get her to leave me alone so I can chop veggies in peace!

FancyMomma said...

I guess I just never grew up with the ready-made frozen dinner type things. My parents were both working parents and they always seemed to make fast, delicious meals for us growing up.

Yeah, there are always people that are more capable of this than others, and it is about priorities too, and what you kids are like, what kind of job you have, what other responsiblities you have, what support you one can do everything and there are a lot of factors impacting on what one sets of parent's capabilities are compared to another.

FancyMomma said...

Darn, we are out of the house form around 8am to 5pm...too long anyways!

C said...

True :) Homemade almost always tastes better and is better for you. However, like you and some other readers have said, it's always nice to have something for a back up when you're in a rush. Even though I make my own pizza and lasagna, I do have some frozen stuff somewhere at the bottom of our big freezer downstairs just in case!

Hot Mommy:
LOL! Yes, I know you and your homemade from a box thing :) By the way, you serve the best homemade from a box veggie burgers! ;) I can't it President's Choice or Our Compliments? For some reason, I'm thinking it's PC.

C said...

Hi again! Yes, you're right. The students we have are all ages 10 to adults. Although, it seems the teenagers are the ones who need more babysitting than the younger ones sometimes :)

I agree with what you said. I actually have a frozen lasagna or pizza somewhere in my big freezer downstairs, I think. Just for emergencies. Anyway, Hubby warned me that this would be a controversial post! LOL! Plus, I'm being rather moody.

TTYL! Have a great weekend! xo

FancyMomma said...

mmm....frozen lasagna! The last time I made one from scratch, I dropped it all over the dining room floor!

Uncivil said...

I use my Crockpot about once a month! It will hold 2 whole chickens (cut up of course). Takes about 5 hours and the meat practically falls off the bones.
Then I freeze several individual containers of it. This goes into my doggies dry dog food mix every morning and evening!

baby~amore' said...

I love you call it a crock pot - my mum used to use hers all the time. Now they call it a slow cooker !
Crazy - Mc Cains meals I guess for those who have busier lives than be able to chop and shop for fresh stuff.

Jeanna said...

There was a time I felt guilty for using those little pre-peeled carrots. Now I'd have no problem with a slow cooker meal IF: it tasted good, wasn't full of salt, fat, and carbs, and the price was right. Last I checked, none of that was true.

Anonymous said...

Oh C! I have to agree with you on trying not to buy prepared food. You are right about the preservatives and additives that are put into the food. They are not good for our health. Good for you for trying to buy fresh as much as you can.

I am a working mom (I'm a dietitian - check out our Dietitians of Canada site) and we have three young children (a 2 year old and twin 4 year olds). I try not to buy processed food unless I absolutely need to. The other bloggers are right too in saying that it all depends on priorities, lifestyles, schedules, what you are capable of when you have kids. Every household is different. I prefer making our food fresh because most processed foods have ingredients that are really not healthy for your body. When we get home from work and pick up the kids from the sitter's, my husband watches the kids while I cook (or vice versa) and sometimes we both cook while the kids try to "help".

We're also a "green" family. From earth-friendly cleaning agents (vinegar/water), to trying to ride our bikes instead of driving our car (as much as possible- HA! with kids to boot! That is seriously great excercise!), to bringing our own shopping bags instead of using plastic- we try our best and do as much as we can.

I don't mind being a "crunchy" "granola" mama! I don't think it's a horrible thing.

Danielle said...

I love my slow cooker, if anyone has any good recipies would love them as I am going back to work in a couple of months and have two small kids both under 2.

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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