Doubt buckled in for the commute, bringing along unpleasant thoughts of blackened dinners. "You know when you get back home IN NINE HOURS the chicken will be burnt to a crisp. Smoke will build and then escape from the clear glass lid...wafting through the first floor. It may even be up to the second by the time you get home. Your fire alarms will go off. Remember in October when they all went off after everyone was in bed and the fire department came only to tell you it was a false alarm? Yes, they could come again. They'll call you at school."
That's crazy. My friends cook in a crockpot and they seem to be able to make it work. No smoke; no fire department. I'm letting my hyperactive imagination get the best of me.
Doubt tapped me on the shoulder and pulled my chin toward the clock while I was in classrooms, in planning meetings, and in the middle of other thoughts. Six hours remaining, five hours, four hours, three hours... "There's no way your French Chicken will survive. The sauce will congeal. The sawdust meat will be unremarkable. You'll have nothing to eat when you get home and then you'll have to figure something else out. With two crying kids light on naps today. And two hungry adults light on lunch today."
Geesh. That will stink if we're in this situation. The reason I'm trying out my crockpot tonight is that over-involved dinner preparations don't work with 6:30-7:00 bedtimes. Because of these, I feel like I'm racing the clock from the moment I walk in the door just a few minutes before 5:00. The crockpot will expedite the process and give me more time with the boys before bath, stories, and bed. I don't want crying children and an uptight husband while I draw straws for what can be made the quickest.... It'll be take-out. It just has to be.
Doubt pushed the accelerator on the way home. Five miles over, no, ten. "Your house could be in flames because of this little crockpot experiment. Do you think any of the neighbors you don't know yet would call 911?"
Has anybody's house burned down because of a crockpot malfunction (READ: overdone meal)? STOP IT, imagination!! You're driving me mad and I really should slow down; look at all these unmarked police cars out here this afternoon. Everything will be fine.
After a day of darting exchanges that culminated with my embarrassing dash from the Jeep into the kitchen,
and stirred the savory sauce
and sampled the fork-tender chicken breast
The crockpot meal worked.
Doubt and I divorced.
(It's just too bad my husband wasn't as pleased with the finished product. New recipe, please!)