Last night, David and I enjoyed an impromptu dinner with my favorite Mexican friend, Courtney. Okay, she’s not really Mexican—she’s Italian. But she lived in Spain for a semester, speaks Spanish, and routinely gets mistaken for a Mexican, so that’s good enough for me.
To further muddle the issue, Court LOVES Mexican food. So when I mentioned I had a Boston Butt in the Crock-Pot, her little Mexican ears perked up and the invite was sealed. She came over straight from the gym, and we enjoyed a wonderful, casual evening on the porch—drinking wine, laughing, and eventually eating some really awesome pork tacos. As it was a departure from our normal routine, I learned a couple lessons that I’d like to share.
Crock-Pots Are Okay Awesome
David is a huge fan of the Crock-Pot. I guess it comes from being a child of the 1970s, when everything was cooked in that oh-so-charmingly named appliance. Crab Dip? Crock-Pot. Spaghetti? Crock-Pot. Cherry Cheesecake? You get the idea. Over the years, David has worn down my pretentious aversion to the Crock-Pot by making some really delicious dishes. And it’s so easy! So now, I’m a fan of the Mom Cauldron. Here’s the recipe I prepared last night—Chalupa Dinner Bowl—it’s from Southern Living and very delicious!
Dinner Doesn’t Have to Be Pretty…
I was hesitant about inviting Court over, or even featuring this dish on the blog, because let’s face it: when something’s been cooking in the Crock-Pot for 10 hours, it’s NOT pretty. We’re talking Swamp Stew. Totally un-photographable. But sometimes, that doesn’t matter. When you’re sitting down to enjoy a meal with people you care about, you don’t need elaborate garnishes, drizzles, and all that jazz. All you need is good company.
So the next time you think about having a friend over for dinner but decide against it because your house isn’t clean, or you don’t have some beautiful recipe to prepare, re-think that decision. Forego that pretension and focus on the fun you can have by relaxing and enjoying good food with good friends. Because…
“Like Daddy always says, “An ounce of pretension is worth a pound of manure.”
—Julia Roberts, Steel Magnolias