Awhile back, I posted about my forays into Ebay. I am happy to report that I have sold my entire collection of back issues of Burda magazine (5-6 years worth), and managed to collect a lot larger profit than I had imagined. I did not come close to recouping my "investment" (maybe 50% though), but I cleared enough to buy myself a little something else: a food processor. I have had one for the last several years that does some basic slicing or shredding, though Charlotte managed to modify it for me a year or two ago so that food would come shooting out the side thanks to a broken piece. I am now the proud owner of this Kitchenaid one. It is larger than the old one, came with two extra bowls, a dough blade, an egg whipping thing, a citrus juicer, and it's not nearly as loud as the other one. I'm excited. Of course, it sat in the box all weekend until last night, when I finally got a chance to shred some cheese with it. Kind of anticlimactic, but it did a beautiful job.
On a bit less exciting of a note, we replaced our crockpot last fall. The old one still worked fine, but the knob was removable and the handles barely attached from years of use and from being toted all over the city. The new one I picked out had a couple of cool sounding features--namely a programmable timer, and the supposed ability to brown meat on the stovetop. When I make a stew or a pot roast, I frequently do the browning step in a saute pan to get a nice browned crust, and then deglaze the pan and finish the roast in the slow cooker. That works fine, but I have to clean a second pan, which detracts a bit from the beauty of using a slow cooker. So this one sounded wonderful.
Not so fast. The directions say that you can only heat the pan up to "medium" on the stove top, and with an electric stove like ours, there was a metal rack that you set the pot on top of (the rack doesn't fit inside the crockpot to store either...kind of awkward). Medium doesn't brown meat particularly well, and the stoneware took a really really long time to heat up enough (granted, stoneware isn't known for fast heat transfer, just for holding heat). Unfortunately, "medium" on our stovetop must be a little too hot, because the pot cracked the last time I tried to use it--with our dinner still inside! That was almost two months ago..shortly after my whole stand mixer issue (January was a bad month for kitchen equipment). I finally had time to call customer service for Rival last week to get the pot replaced, and a new one should be shipping shortly. Actually, they don't have just the pot in stock, so they're sending me a whole new unit...makes me wonder if I'm not the only one having this issue! No matter, this new pot is not going to be browning any more meat--from here on out, it's strictly a slow cooker with a timer (and a knob and handles).