Mondays and Tuesdays present a small problem for me each week. School is in Aberystwyth, Beavers and Cubs are in Aberystwyth and we live 10 miles outside Aberystwyth. How to get the children home, get a (good!) meal inside them and get the relevant child back to town for their activity? Answer? The slow-cooker!
On Sunday and Monday evenings my 'homework' is to get a meal prepped and ready in the slow-cooker pot and to pop it in the 'fridge, ready to be transferred to the cooker just before we leave the house on Monday and Tuesday mornings. It can then putter away quite happily until we get home after school, when all that is left for me to do is knock together a quick side dish, if necessary, and set the table for supper. I have, by now, quite a collection of slow-cooker favourites but, being me I do often try out something new (and regularly give thanks for the wondrous creation called Pinterest).
Probably the best-received of all the meals that emerge from my slow-cooker is my big fat chilli con carne and that is what I served up for tonight's supper. The ingredients remain the same as in the 'proper' recipe, and are all piled into the slow-cooker pot together, but I do leave out the half-can of water (which is unnecessary in the slow-cooker) and replace the raw sliced onion with some of my slow-cooked onions from the freezer (or, even more easily with a can of EAZY fried onions from the supermarket; another wonderful thing well worth having in the cupboard). I never feel that onion cooks properly in a slow-cooker and this is the one allowance I make towards cooking things before they go into the sainted machine.