Saved by the Crockpot Potroast or Beef Stew
Click here for the Hobbie's Saga-inspired, original poem!
Hobbie Klivian is married with children in Csillag's Hobbie's Saga tales. His wife is on-track toward directorship of a child services agency specializing in mixed-species adoptions. It was very stressful and she didn't have much latitude to say "no" if she needed to attend emergency meetings or deliver documents to embassies and governments. Mixed-species adoptions were fraught with difficulties and such was Sela Klivian's compassion that she would drop everything to ensure a successful experience for parents and children.
Unfortunately, this meant she was often not home in time to make dinner for her kids; this often meant picking up fastfood or just heating through pre-made food products in the 'nuker. It was often less than satisfying, and though the kids didn't complain directly, she was worried when her daughter Nia complained about having a fat butt so she didn't want the high-calorie bought stuff, or when her son Serren told her he'd already eaten a big snack and he wasn't hungry. It seemed that mealtimes had degenerated in the Klivian household, where excuses were made not to eat dinner as often as it was eaten at all.
Sela aired her concerns to Hobbie, and he suggested the crock pot or slow cooker. She was surprised they had one, but she didn't associate it with quick meals. A stew would take six hours or more in such a device!
"That's the point!" declared Hobbie. "You remember Squeaky, the Wraith's quartermaster?"
"Isn't he a protocol 'droid?" Sela wondered what a 'droid had to do with a slow cooker.
"Yeah," Hobbie enjoyed the perplexed look on his wife's face. "When they were busy, Squeaky would toss a lump or more of meat, a bunch of veggies, water, and seasonings into a slow cooker and go about his work didn't matter if they were fresh, frozen, or dried, he'd just vary the liquids and seasonings to suit. It took about six hours to prep for the average mission, and if he started it when they got their orders, the Wraiths could have a hot meal before they took off. Wedge and Wes said those were the best meals they ever had as Wraiths. Don't worry, I'll show you! And I'll bet Nia and Serren will like it enough to help out in the mornings if you ask them. You'll see." Hobbie grinned broadly.
Sela did try the idea out, and it worked! How well? As predicted, Nia and Serren DID assemble this stew in the mornings before going to school, so they would always have a hot, home-made meal ready when they got home, "instead of that fattening junk!" as Nia called it.
(If they had more time, the night before they would prep the vegetables and meat into cubes and leave them in sealed containers in the 'fridge to make the potroast into a stew. See the "ALTERNATIVE" and "OR" instructions in the recipe.)
If you wish to thicken the gravy when the potroast or stew is done, shake together the cornstarch and cold water in a screw-top jar to mix. Ladle or pour the liquid from the stew into a saucepan and add about half the cornstarch slurry to it over medium-low heat on the stove. Cook with constant stirring till boiling, when the cornstarch will thicken the sauce. Add more of the slurry to the gravy if you like it thicker, adjust as you see fit a thin gravy is very good, actually. Pour into a sauceboat, OR back over the stew to serve. Otherwise, serve with mashed potatoes or rice. Or just enjoy as a roast OR stew on its own it's a complete meal, either way, and very good!
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