I was running through the forest so fast I could feel my heart pounding in my chest, pounding so hard it almost flew straight out. The wind was at my heels and I could hear them coming – they were after me. I wasn’t sure if I could run any faster, the ground was falling away from me and the man at the house had told me that I had to get to the kitchen in the forest before they caught me. They wanted my gold. But it was mine! I had cultivated it! No, they couldn’t have it. I refused. I tripped on a tree branch and flew through the air – dammit! They were almost upon me and now would catch me for sure. I hit the ground.
I opened my eyes in semi-darkness. I was in my bed, a little chilly and I was awake. My clock told me that it was a little past 7am. It wasn’t the sun that had woken me up – that was all blocked out and the little that came streaming in through the chinks in the curtain was hitting the opposite wall. No, it was something else. I sniffed the air once, twice and suddenly it hit me: my chicken stock was ready.
I’m certain that there is nothing better in this world than waking up to the smell of chicken stock that has been bubbling away quietly whilst you slumbered, but the effort this involves normally… well. When I was living at Momma Lee’s I once spent an entire night sleeping in the kitchen so that I could keep checking my chicken stock, making sure it hadn’t bubbled over. It was good but the fact that I woke up every hour to make sure that nothing was going to burn down imminently ruined it somewhat for me, plus the fact that I had to keep topping it up with water was irritating. A good night’s sleep I did not have and the stock was so much trouble I didn’t make it again whilst I was living there. Enter the slow cooker.
Guys, if you have to invest in one gadget, invest in this one. A slow freaking cooker. It doesn’t have to be fancy – mine has three functions: off, low & high, that’s it – it doesn’t have to be expensive (I think mine cost me around £25?) and it doesn’t need to be dealt with, you just turn it on and let it go. Honestly, my slow cooker rarely comes out because before this point I didn’t realise how bloomin’ easy it would be to make something as every day as stock in it; I know, I am slow to the slow cooker revolution, but it is simple! So simple I almost want to cry with joy and when we’re done taking this journey together, you will too. So let’s begin.