Appreciating My Bubbling Pot

I can still recall the large and cumbersome Crock Pot that took up valuable counter space in my mother’s kitchen. It wasn’t too long before it was packed up and stashed away in the basement. So, I was a bit skeptical when I heard my friends raving about the delicious chicken cacciatore, French onion soup, and peach cobblers that emerged from more contemporary versions of those bubbling pots.Slow cookers have come a long way since the 1970s. In addition to saving time, they also offer an economical way to cook. Cookbook author Judith Finlayson says it best. “The slow cooker is the perfect appliance for a recession. They cook the kind of comfort food that offers the culinary equivalent of a haven in a heartless world.”

The idea of taking a few minutes each morning to throw some ingredients into a pot, select the appropriate setting, and then forget about it, is an appealing one. Especially for a writer who also happens to be a non-foodie.

On crisp fall and winter days, I treat myself to this easy-to-prepare beef stew.


2 pounds stewing beef
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 onion, chopped
2 cups beef broth
3 potatoes, diced
4 carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, chopped


• Cut meat into 1 inch pieces.
• In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, and pepper. Add the meat and coat with this flour mixture.
• Place coated meat in the slow cooker.
• Stir in garlic, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, onion, beef broth, potatoes, carrots, and celery.
• Cover and cook on Low setting for 10 to 12 hours or on High setting for 4 to 6 hours.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Buon Appetito!

About Joanne Guidoccio

In 2008, Joanne retired from a 31-year teaching career and launched a second act that tapped into her creative side. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes paranormal romance, cozy mysteries, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.
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20 Responses to Appreciating My Bubbling Pot

  1. Love my crock pot…always make beef stew first when it get’s colder. I don’t use it much in the warmer months, but come Fall…It’s all about the bubbling pot!

  2. If it weren’t for my crock pot, my family wouldn’t eat most nights, especially this time of year! Nothing is better than walking in the door from work and the whole house is filled with the delicious aroma of Dinner’s Done.

  3. Sounds delicious. The other advantage of a crook pot, for this writer, is that there’s no need to attend to the cooking– no burned pots, no ruined dinners, no smoke alarms blaring! LOL –katie o’boyle

  4. eperese says:

    If you don’t have a slow cooker, set your oven at low heat (325 or so), cut up chuck beef into one inch cubes and put in a Dutch oven. Add I can of Campbell’s golden mushroom soup, 1/2 package of onion soup mix, 1/2 can of good sherry (not cooking sherry), and 1/2 cup of beef broth or milk.
    Stir, put the cover on and bake until tender. Check after 2 hours. You can mix, cook, and serve in the same pot. If you like, you can cook veggies and add at the last minute or add for last 45 minutes of cooking. No messy counter, no smoke, no spattering all over your clean shirt. Super easy, super good.

  5. Hi Kate, It’s uncanny how I can ignore the oven timer and then berate myself for ruining dinner. Crock pots definitely solve that problem. Thanks for dropping by 🙂

  6. Christy Johnson says:

    Ha, my slow cooker is in the basement too! Perhaps it’s time to give it another try…

    • Hi Christy, I’ve been avoiding my storage area. So many “lost soul” items that I’m not ready to resurrect or give away. Let me know if you decide to rescue your slow cooker. Thanks for dropping by. 🙂

  7. The crock pot is the kitchen equivalent of the slow, musing novelist. Not necessarily what every writer should do all of the time, but everyone should try it occasionally. Throw in a couple of new ingredients and let the action stew a bit while you write. See what happens.

  8. Beth Carter says:

    Sounds delicious. Thanks for the recipe. I love my crock pot. I’m using it tomorrow for roast and carrots.

  9. Roast and carrots–another yummy crock pot meal! Thanks for dropping by, Beth 🙂

  10. I used my crock pot so much it burnt out. When this searing heat passes (I’m an Aussie) I’ll buy another one. I used to use it for cooking beef, until I discovered slow cooker rice pudding. It’s the creamiest best food ever. Dinner can wait!

  11. Hi Elizabeth, So far, I’ve used my slow cooker only for main entrees. The thought of cooking rice pudding for several hours and breathing in that tantalizing aroma is tempting. I’m on the hunt for a recipe. Thanks 🙂

  12. I use my crock pot all the time. I made a beef stew last week. My favorite is pulled pork in the slow cooker. I’ll be making my turkey breast for Thanksgiving in the crock pot too. Thanks for the new recipe to try out. Happy cooking!

  13. You’re welcome! Have a Happy Thanksgiving. 🙂

  14. sueberger3 says:

    I have that very same crock pot and I love it.! Your recipe sounds great.

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