So, now that it has been over a month since the first part of this post (a month full of Thanksgiving, grad school papers, lesson planning, and Christmas preparations), I guess I need to wrap things up.
After discussing the slow-cooker-crack situation with a friend who is an engineer, it has been decided that the slow cooker insert should have never been placed on the stovetop. This is where I was hoping I could include a quote from my engineer friend, but with his busy holiday schedule, I just have two words: differential heating. The ceramic insert did not heat evenly, so it cracked where the hot part met the cold part. It’s science.
Onto more exciting things . . . There is a husband-“enforced” rule in my household that states, “With each new kitchen item that enters the kitchen, another kitchen item must leave.” Apparently, my husband thinks, we have too many kitchen gadgets and appliances. Well, the cracking of the slow cooker insert opened the window for a new purchase. We quickly decided that I would not be able to get a new insert right away, so to save the meal, I would need to purchase a dutch oven large enough to accommodate the ingredients for the ragù. The first thought was, my dream, a lovely Le Creuset. However, with the nearly $3oo price tag, that was not an option. I told Brandon that I had seen an episode of America’s Test Kitchen where they tested cast-iron dutch ovens and came out with a comparable brand: Lodge. He quickly got online and found one place in the city that sells Lodge dutch ovens, and I raced out to purchase one.