By: Stacey Gish Wallenstein aka The Mint Chip Mama
I’m a very insecure chef. I should say cook. Chef sounds too complimentary. Feeding my family brings me great stress. Words like “simmer”, “sauté”, and “to taste” give me hives.
I have shelves filled with cookbooks but enjoy arranging them in a rainbow far more than using them. If I do want to be daring and think outside the (macaroni) box, I often go on Facebook and ask friends for their “no-recipe-needed/you-could-make-this-in-your-sleep” dinners. But I never thought that social media would cook my family dinner!
I recently opened my Crock-Pot. Please note, I said opened, not bought. Hopefully you are laughing as you too have one sitting in its box for years — but were too intimidated to use it. My original goal in getting this kitchen gadget was to make meal time easier. However, once I started reading about browning, etc. I wanted to cry. So there it sat.
After much encouragement, and the promise from friends you can, actually “just throw stuff in’, I was ready. I got the courage. I opened the box, washed that sucker in “warm soapy water” and was off.
In went veggies, frozen meat and a jar of sauce.
Exhale of relief.
Naturally my last step was posting a picture. What transpired over the next eight hours was amazing. In true “it takes a village” fashion, I received four dozen comments about slow cookers. Advice, recipes, even pictures of friends inspired to use theirs that night too. It was amazing! Friends wanted to know what I made, see how it came out, and just be my dinner’s cheerleader. Although I sat alone in my house all day, I felt like I was surrounded by friends every step of the way. And can you believe – not one unhelpful or judgmental comment!
It’s amazing how cooking went from something passed generation to generation to something one can crowd source. I was unsure of the cooking time – bam! Got a comment. I was unsure of the way to layer – bam! Another. My village did not let me down. I had so much fun.
Next time I’ll tell you how I spent Thanksgiving morning with a dozen friends commenting on how to improvise a stuffing recipe using the box of croutons I erroneously took for a stuffing mix. Or about the time I decided to make a Gâteau Au Yaourt with real-time help of my friends in France!
Long live social media!