In a sure sign of my approaching 40s, I finally got a Crock-Pot. Sunday evenings we visit Doc’s family and usually combine that with errands, so we’re not home until 8. Figuring out dinner after all of that (on top of figuring out Sunday breakfast and lunch) was getting to be way too difficult.

The Crock-Pot is everything I hoped it would be: You put ingredients in in the morning and come home to food. The first time I used it I kept thinking, “It is cooking but you are not,” and realized that’s a Laurie Colwin quote, from More Home Cooking (she’s talking about a flame tamer instead of a Crock-Pot, but same concept):

On a flame tamer, a good black bean soup takes at least 5 hours to cook, hours in which you could be writing a novel, composing a brief, arguing with your dry cleaner, or playing catch with your child and her friends. You might yak on the telephone, balance your checkbook, or go through piles of work. You might even go shopping for yourself, remembering to stop afterward to buy some bread and cheese. But whatever you do, while your soup is cooking, you are not.