Thursday, March 03, 2011

My new BFFs

"Best Friends Forever", a phrase taught to me by my daughter.

In this case, two pieces of household equipment which I never knew I lacked until I had them:

Number One: A Doormat

Did you know, that if you place a mat anywhere near a door, people will wipe their feet upon it?

That's what I found out when I put a carpet sample just inside our front door, with the idea that I could stand on it while removing my wellies, and keep my feet warm and dry. What I hadn't expected was that everyone else would use it for cleaning their boots.

So I bought an actual doormat. What a life-changer! Now all the mud that used to make its way into my front room gets stopped in the hallway!

Number Two: A Slow-Cooker

I have Scruffybadger to thank for this one!

My mother had been enthusing about her new slow-cooker for ages but her talk of sweet n' sour Uncle Ben's pork chops wasn't thrilling me.
So when I read Scruffy's post about the joys of slow-cookery, I was intrigued.

For £17 I bought an Ecolectric slow-cooker direct from the manufacturer. It is a special energy-saving model that allegedly uses 44% of the power of a lightbulb to cook a meal!

I tried it for the first time on Saturday. Got up, chopped the veg, gave them a quick saute with spices, then into the slow cooker for 8 hours on Low with a pound of Lidl's finest cheap steak. (Sorry to all my vegetarian friends!)
I sewed all day. I even managed to get the bottom hem finished and walk the dog!
Dinner time arrived, and all I had to do was slice an avocado and hand out flatbreads to accompany the dish of the day: Cuban Spiced Beef (from Slow Cooking Curry and Spice Dishes)

It was absolutely delicious! Everyone cleaned their plate. No complaints about the carrot quota. And there wasn't even much washing-up to do!

I also collected a reserved library book on Saturday: Ultimate Slow Cooker and I have to say that I will be buying my own copy. Fabulous photographs and inspirational recipes for omnivores, as well as an excellent primer on how to get the most out of a slow-cooker.

I am expecting to slow-cook every weekend from now on, and possibly mid-week too if I can get the prepping done the night before and set it on a timer switch to come on while I am at work.

So, thanks to my two new BFFs I have a cleaner house, better meals cooked more efficiently and more time to sew - can't be bad!


Minnado said...

Funny how quite small changes can have such a big impact life. I am with you in the doormat love. I am a recent convert. My slow cooker is languishing in the cupboard.

Scruffybadger said...

O yes! A slow cooker swooner! It's certainly my BFF too. But doormat - now that's a missing in my life. As Minnado says, it's the small things that can make such a difference. Good tip!

Lorna said...

We don't have a doormat down here, the kids have got me instead!

Cathy said...

I have gone off the slow cooker, on account of the fact I am not that organised! My BFF is a pressure cooker- a yesterday had a stew that would take 3 hours in the oven- 27mins!! Disorganised but still getting away with it!! I now have found that 2 doormats are best ( mainly due to 2 young mud-magnet boys) but a good mat in our porch PLUS a machine washable one inside! Well i did say they are mud magnets!