the philosophical joys of a slow cooker

This week I buy a crock pot


I’ve just finished reading Carl Honore’s cult read In Praise of Slow. It’s been out a while – the best seller (it’s also one of Arianna Huffington’s favourite reads) that was largely responsible for bringing the fashionable Slow Food movement to the time-poor masses, was published in 2004. But that’s OK. As Slow proponents say, everything in the fullness of time.

Slow Food, which began in Italy in 1986, is an aesthetic exercise in taking your languid time to truly indulge in the mastication process. It’s about long lunches in Tuscan courtyards with an old guy at the head of the table wearing a Dolmio-ish grin, eating truffles that were foraged that morning and rabbit stews that’ve bubbled on the stove for days, and imbibing wine that’s been foot-crushed by the neighbour’s elfin children. It’s quaint and rich and mindful and everything eating should be about.

I have to admit, I had this picture in mind when I found myself picking up a crock pot, or slow cooker, at Kmart recently for $35. I’m generally highly skeptical of kitchen appliances that cost $35 at Kmart. They wind up in corner cupboards, impossible to get at, never to be used again. But I’ve been surprised.

Read more