I’m writing this post on a Tuesday about crockpots, but there is no reason to assume I’ll return to the topic on a Tuesday in the future. Fair warning. 🙂
A consequence of living with anxiety and bipolar disorder is that cooking often falls to the side. Eating can be a challenge. Sometimes, it is remembering to eat and sometimes it is the simple fact that I don’t feel hungry. Preparing actual meals? Forget it.
But I’m feeling better of late so I’m tackling something that I’ve often wanted to do – use the crockpot on a regular basis. It appeals because once the meal is prepped and potted, I can go feel not hungry and not motivated for several hours before I have to take further action. If is easy to store leftovers even if I don’t have the wherewithal to drag out containers and such. And it is easy to clean in the dishwasher. Also, I can contribute to the cooking and that makes me feel good. Plus, the smell of cooking food does make me feel better.
I’m laying out this rationale because for the typical person, none of this is a big deal. But for those of us who struggle to pour milk into the cereal rather than eat it from the box, it is a very big deal to prepare an entire meal + leftovers. The additional constraints I face with my hand tremors make it even more so.
My goal is to use it 1x week.
I kicked off last week with a pot roast. We bought the meat at Giant Eagle, it was about 2 lbs. I added potatoes, baby carrots (which we buy in vast quantity) and about half an onion. It wasn’t finely diced because of my hands, but I did sort of chunk it up enough to be viable. We didn’t have beef broth, so I used some low sodium vegetable broth and that was pretty much it.
It was delicious. The meat was tender and we had plenty for leftovers. Of course, we ended up with more broth than we needed. I put the unused carrots and potatoes into the compost pile. But this was a smart choice to begin my quest.
This week, I decided to try something entirely new – we had two partial loaves of bread that were going stale so I found a recipe for bread pudding. It required raisins, eggs & vanilla along with spices. Cutting the bread was a challenge so I wrapped it in wet paper towels and put it in the microwave for a bit. That softened it up enough that I could actually rip it apart with my hands. I used both skim milk (which is what we had) and half & half so I hope that balances out the fat content! 🙂
It was pretty good. A little bland even though I added some cinnamon and nutmeg. I think it needs something on the side – some ice cream or a bit of a glaze of some type. But it definitely solved the problem of the bread that we waste.
The quantity is huge so I’ll probably have to freeze some of it. But I’ll mark this as a success.
Later this week, I’m planning to roast a whole chicken. So next week’s crock pot adventure will be some variant of chicken noodle soup.
I’ve often written about the fact that no one brings a casserole to people with mental illness. Maybe I can change that and surprise someone else one day?
Let me close on this note. One of the components of recovery is to take the time to acknowledge your successes and triumphs, as well as your attempts and efforts and good faith tries. I am going to use my blog to more diligently do that – to examine how a certain activity matters and give myself kudos for what I try to accomplish. I have a tendency to think that actions only matter when they benefit someone else. That’s not true. I deserve to take good care of myself and to feel pleased about my accomplishments, big and small.
And so do you.