The Red Crock-Pot®
By Jacqueline J. Overpeck
Can a Crock-pot® add sizzle to your marriage? Maybe so! I was surprised when the slow cooker turned up the heat on mine.
I never thought I’d be one of those women who purchases red appliances. You’ve seen them on shelves at Williams Sonoma and Target, really you can’t miss them. There’s the red toaster, red teapot, red frying pan, red trash can, and yes the red slow cooker. I’ve walked right by them, without batting an eye, at least a dozen times.
What drew me in, on this particular day, I have no idea, but the attraction was undeniable. I felt like Odysseus in the Odyssey, wooed by the song of the appliance Sirens. The toaster and teapot crooned in harmony, seeming to say, “We’ve got style, we’re original, we’ll fill your kitchen with vibrancy.”
So, there I was standing in the check out line, with a buggy full of red countertop appliances, thinking, should I buy this stuff?
I reasoned with myself, justifying why each new, red appliance was not only necessary, but also essential: Our toaster chews up sliced bread, and torches it, creating a whole new food item – blackened toast. Our teapot spews scolding water as it whistles Dixie – the dog runs not only to escape the piercing whistle, but also to keep from getting third-degree splatter burns.
But, candy apple red? I bit my bottom lip, as I examined the bright frying pan.
Oh, why not, I thought. Live a little, go for the gusto.
I stepped forward into the check out line with confidence, placed the shiny, new appliances on the clerk’s conveyer belt, and lifted my chin. I’d broken free from the stainless steel stigma so many others find themselves in.
Once out of the store, I loaded the trunk, plopped into the driver’s seat, and turned up the radio for a glorious ride home. It was a sunny day and carpe diem now applied to me. Proud of my purchase, I thought, Could a Saturday afternoon of shopping be any more fun?
Little did I know that the transition from basic-white traditional to Technicolor appliances wouldn’t go over so well with my guy. Who, by the way, has an uncanny ability to turn sail from the luring voice of the shopping Sirens. (Men! Such strange beings … what planet did they come from anyway?)
I slipped into our house through the side door, trying my best to quiet the crumpling of my unruly shopping bag. My objective was to set the appliances out on the countertops, in perfect position, and plugged in -- before my husband entered the room. I knew that he’d feel the same colorful inspiration as me, if only I could get that crazy, red slow cooker out of its blasted box.
“J,” I heard him call the nick-name he’s given to me.
Oh, man. He heard me come in.
“Did you get a chance to pick up the dry-cleaning?” he asked.
Ut-oh. I forgot all about the dry-cleaning. That’s not good.
The drum of his footsteps across the living room’s hardwood floor meant he was moving in on the kitchen. I straightened my pony tail, looked up from my shopping bag, and gave an innocent grin.
“Hi,” a sweet coo slid off my lips. I stepped in front of the red trash can, hoping to block it from his view.
“What’s for dinn—” he stopped mid-sentence.
His eyes locked on the red slow cooker, Vidalia onions, and 3-pound pot roast setting beside it. Every muscle in his face tightened as-if a Communist enemy (with a three prong plug) had entered our home. Just then, of course, a russet potato rolled off the counter and fell to the floor.
The jig was up and I knew it.
“Oh no—” he insisted. “Please don’t tell me you brought a bunch of red junk home.” He pointed at the slow cooker with disdain. “You’re kidding about this, right?”
I grinned with assurance, trying to bring sunshine to the overcast sky. “You’re going to love this slow cooker. I promise you are. Give me time to set everything up.” It was too late, dark war clouds had already moved into our kitchen.
He turned and walked out. I grimaced.
I was boiling mad, redder than the new appliances. I washed a stalk of celery, lost in thought. What’s wrong with him? I’m not returning this stuff. The kitchen is my space. Every last red bit of it stays!
Five hours later our home was filled with the southern aroma of fine home cooking. The familiar smell I’d known as a child while visiting my Great Aunt Carmen and Uncle Clifford’s house now wafted above my kitchen. The delicious aroma of tender, juicy roast streamed through the entire house, beckoning those with a hearty appetite to come on in. All I needed was some green beans to snap and pecan pin-wheels in the oven, and I’d be poster girl for Better Homes and Gardens.
I was downright pleased with the homey atmosphere I had created, but still stewing inside from the disagreement that had taken place earlier that day. My husband had offended my sense of culinary creativity.
I had two choices: 1) Pout silently through the remainder of the weekend 2) Try and turn the appliance squabble around.
I reasoned with the meditation of a sound and focused heart. Surely there’s a way to convince him that I’m right and he’s wrong. Either way, health experts say simmering over negative emotions is a no-no, so we’ve got to reach a truce.
Given the frustrating fact that my husband doesn’t notice when I’m pouting half the time anyway, I decided to go with option two—try and turn the squabble around. My surmise of the situation at hand? When all else fails, appeal to your guy’s sense of manliness.
I headed straight for my computer and began typing. My keyboard worked industriously along with me, clicking out an up-beat rhythm, as artistry filled my soul. A few moments later I had created a Manly-Man Menu. I’d invite my husband to dinner!
You are cordially invited to join me for three delicious
Prepared especially in your honor!
Hearty Roast with Mega-Man Garden Vegetables
Look forward to tender, thick meat with potatoes and onions!
Italian Herb Spaghetti with Savory-Man Meat Sauce
Look forward to fresh thyme, sage, and rosemary … slow cooked and flavor infused,
Almost as hot as you!
Garlic Clove Whole Chicken for a Guy who is the Whole Package
Look forward to fall off the bone meat seeped in healthy garlic!
I placed the invitation in an envelope and drew a hot pink heart on the front. I carried it down the hall with the greatest of respect—as if I were delivering a peace document drawn up by the United Nations. I knocked on my husband’s home-office door.
“Is there a manly-man in there?” I teased as I pushed on the door, and peeked thorough the open crack.
“What are you up to now?” he laughed.
“Here. Read this.” I handed over the dinner invitation, along with a small kiss. “I have no ulterior motive; I just want to have a pleasant weekend, without a world war over the color of the slow cooker.”
He read the invitation, looked up, and pulled me to his side. “You’re the best, do you know that?” He shook his head and laughed.
It was working! My plan was working! My heart jumped with victory.
“What time does dinner begin?” He asked.
“Right now.” I grinned.
He got up from his chair, and took my hand. We strolled following our noses, toward the smell of the juicy pot roast streaming from the kitchen.
June Cleaver and I, nah—we’re nothing alike. But, maybe those tidy, apron-bowed homemakers from the late 50’s and early 60’s knew a thing or two? After all, that’s the generation when colored appliances hit the market big. Apparently June was trendy enough to listen to the song of the shopping Siren, too!
Do you have some fond memories of your loved ones in a colorful kitchen? Maybe you remember:
- Pink and turquoise in the 50’s.
- Avocado green in the 60’s.
- Harvest gold and copper tone brown in the 70’s.
Fifty years later, the red slow cooker sitting on my kitchen countertop is proof that a slow cooker (of the woman’s color choice!) is still an awesome way to keep the home fires burning bright.
More marriage articles on CBN.com
Jacqueline Overpeck is a freelance writer and works full time as Web Content Editor for Benny Hinn Ministries. She and her husband, Arnold, are both CLASS (Christian Leaders, Authors, and Speakers Services) graduates. They enjoy the outdoors, and traveling in their spare time with their Maltese dog, Coconut. For complete recipes to the Manly-Man Meals mentioned in this article visit Jacqueline at www.AuthorJackieO.com.
© 2007, Jacqueline Overpeck. Used by permission. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the consent of the publisher.
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