I've made a conscious effort these first few weeks of 2015 to try one new recipe a week. We're always up for the adventure of having something new on the menu and to be honest, I get bored cooking the same old things. Besides, you never know when you might find a new family favorite. So far, however, the two experiments haven't been anything to write home about. Edible but not repeatable.
As it's turned out, both recipes were made in the crockpot. I didn't set out to find recipes for the slow cooker but since I was forced to buy a new one when the old one gave up the ghost, I was happy to put my new purchase to use.
The directions for one of the recipes called for a cooking time of ten hours on low or six hours on high. The only problem was I was prepared to let the crockpot do it's thing at 10:30am. With dinner planned for 6:00pm, I had more than six hours but not ten. No problem, I thought; I'll do some of the cooking on high then turn it down to low. The question was how to divide the time.
I did what any self-respecting non-math person would do...I guesstimated. I figured if I took half of each I'd have eight hours and since I only needed 7.5, I just reduced the extra thirty minutes at the same ratio. In my world ratios aren't math...lol.
Going through that process made me think about all those word problems we used to have in grade school or junior high. You know, if a train started from Denver going 80 mph and another one started from Philadelphia going 60 mph, where would they meet? I hated them. Somehow I must have come up with an answer but the method has escaped me long ago.
So I wandered into Wayne's computer room to pose my word problem to him, more as a joke than because I required his answer. I was content with my guesstimate but I was interested in what he would come up with. The main ingredient, after all, was chicken and I certainly didn't want to serve it raw.
His face lit up and I could see the wheels start to turn. Unlike me, Wayne likes math. I went on about doing other things around the house but it wasn't long before he came to find me. I wouldn't have been surprised to see a spreadsheet in his hand but instead he began his explanation of how to get the answer, ending with the formula 1x + .6x = 450. I tried to keep my eyes from glazing over. In the end his precise answer was almost the same as my guesstimate, and in crockpot time, the difference was immaterial.
We chuckled about who in our circle of friends would be able to come up with the answer so we posed the question at dinner a few nights later. There were a few blank stares from the men but in fairness, they didn't have a chance to offer their theories before some of the gals chimed in with the strategy of cooking it on high until it was done then turning it over to warm. It's a crockpot, they chided; it's supposed to be easy. And they're right.
There is, however, a second part to this word problem. How long will it take to be done if you don't plug in the crockpot? The answer: Infinity. Don't ask me how I know.