I think this is how they make Army food.
(Army cooks, please don't shoot me, I mean this with enormous gratitude that I've never had to eat on the front lines.)
I post quite a few recipes and overall I'm a good cook but I do have to confess that I occasionally lay an egg. My latest discovery is that rice doesn't cook well in the crock-pot no matter what online recipes tell you.
The crock-pot, my workhorse for Sundays especially, was fully stocked with twice as much water as rice plus a bit more so to keep the veggies and chicken moist. I carefully trimmed the skin and fat off of the chicken pieces, I added sage, thyme, and bay leaf. This was going to be really good!
I ended up with nicely cooked chicken and a bland, watery, starchy gruel. I tried to be optimistic and spooned some out into a bowl.
It went 'pthlop' much like I'd seen 'spaghetti' do on Band of Brothers.
Most families would have simply ordered pizza. I am a sore loser when food doesn't cooperate so I threw a few things around the kitchen, gave the universe my decided opinion about Crock-pots, and whined to Glitch via IM. Finally, I saved the day by lowering my standards to add tater-tots, peas, and applesauce to the admittedly beautifully cooked chicken.
For this, I'll spare you the photo. Has anyone else had more luck with making rice in the crock-pot?
A few years ago I had a great garden. My parents showed up and tilled, we planted everything in one day, and I spent the next week or so mulching and then weeding and mulching. Sounds like a walk in the park, right? I had a garden to rival my garden-obsessed neighbor's and all was well. We had tomatoes, corn, and green beans galore. I even had a row of beets that were an amazing success. But this garden had a secret.
Under all that mulching and weeding and general garden harassment were grass roots. Every time we put a garden in we battle these roots. When we first moved in and put in the garden I didn't worry nearly as much about the grass coming up as the ragweed. Before I knew it I had hay growing where my veggies and flowers should have been. My neighbor looked it over with deep gloomy satisfaction. "Quack grass" he pronounced in sepulchral tones and the battle was on.
This year I knew what to do and I was more than ready after the endless white and grey of the snowdrifts. Till the garden, cull roots from the soil without mercy, and mulch everything ankle-deep. I had the newspaper and the clippings. I was loaded for bear. We put the garden in using child labor to pull out two big piles of grass roots (the garden had been fallow for a couple years while I was pregnant and nursing) and the next morning I went out with the baby in the stroller and began mulching before anyone else was up and it could get too hot out.
I managed to get two rows done and the rest of the family came out and whined that they wanted breakfast. The baby put in her two cents and agreed, besides the heat was already cranking up so I quit the field and returned to the kitchen.
There was a heat wave interspersed by drenching rain storms. I didn't make it back out to the garden.
This is just sad. Believe it or not there are garden plants in there. Here are some marigolds in the part of the garden that I actually mulched. The grass ate the mulch.
There are corn and tomatoes and flowers but what I've had most success with is...grass.
Next year...the mulch returns!