Today was the first day back to a somewhat normal schedule after the holidays. It was strange to be home alone, after Jiri was home with me for the past couple of weeks. I had to laugh this morning, when seeing Jiri off to work, our neighbor was also leaving for his job. Both Jiri and he had their briefcases in one hand and a garbage bag in the other. Really funny!
We had a very nice Christmas and New Year’s. One of my favorite gifts this year was a crock pot. Jiri and I bought it with Christmas money from my folks. A crock pot would seem to be a rather ordinary and mundane gift. However, I’ve been looking for a crock pot since moving here seven years ago.
Missing a Crock PotSlow cookers are one of those conveniences that I have missed since moving to Prague. We don't have a car, an electric dryer, etc., but I don't miss those things. A crock pot, on the other hand, I've missed quite a bit. It's not only the convenience a crock pot offers, it's also the smell of something really good cooking all day long. While I don't need a car--I do need a crock pot! It's one of those common place things that creates a cozy atmosphere at home--along with some very good food.
What's a Crock Pot?
Crock pots are not at all common here. I have looked high and low in the shops, only to find rice cookers and other appliances. We’ve even asked our friends and Czech family if they knew where we could buy a crock pot, but they weren’t even sure what one was! Most everyone thought we were asking about an electric pressure cooker. Czechs seem to be familiar with those, but not with crock pots.
Just before Christmas I happened to come across a forum thread on our local expat website, Expats.cz. Someone else was also looking for a crock pot. A helpful fellow expat gave them links to stores that might have slow cookers. I followed those links and sure enough, I found our crock pot. I was happy to see we could finally buy a slow cooker in Prague.
I had a crock pot when living in the U.S. Everyone has a slow cooker there. It also seems that crock pots are common in Canada and the U.K. Why these nifty appliances haven’t caught on with Czechs is a mystery. One reason may be the price--our Czech crock pot was pretty expensive. The same slow cooker back in the U.S. would be less than half the price.
Back in the States, I used my crock pot mostly to make yummy pot roasts or maybe a pot of beans. Now, though, I’ve been more adventurous with our new crock pot.
Our First Meal with the New Slow Cooker
Our first meal was cooked from frozen chicken breasts, then I tried to cook a duck, we also tried a pork roast and tonight had turkey breast. One experiment—baking a gluten free cake in the slow cooker—didn’t turn out quite as well. I had to finish baking the cake in the oven. Even so, I’m in heaven! All I have to do to fix a nice dinner is throw in some veggies and meat, turn the crock pot on and let it cook for several hours. By the time Jiri is home from work, we have a nice dinner all ready and I didn’t have to spend an hour or more preparing it!
If you’re living here, in Prague, and would like to know where we bought our crock pot, just drop me an email and I’ll send you the link! If you're in the U.S. and would like a crock pot, check out the one at the end of this post!
Have a great day!