Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Crock-Pot Success Story

I love it when I achieve unexpected and unlooked for culinary victories. Yesterday I was responsible for providing birthday treats for a co-worker's birthday. Eager to do something a little different than the typical (although tasty) bagels/muffins/sweet breads/cake, I decided to put together a lentil curry in my crock-pot, based off this recipe. I also set out pita bread, trail mix, yogurt and granola, cottage cheese, cinnamon apple sauce, fresh grapes, and oatmeal cookies from Costco (okay, so I gave into the baked goods tradition a little -- but they were surprisingly good cookies!). I was concerned people would not enjoy this departure from tradition, but I need not have worried. This is what my crock-pot looked like by lunchtime:

As it turned out, people really liked the curry! The birthday woman loved it, and even gave me a very sweet thank you card today. I received a number of thumbs-up from other co-workers, and ended up passing the recipe on via email. I felt -- and feel! -- so blessed.

I highly recommend the recipe, although I did depart from it in a number of ways. I omitted the kidney beans and used two cups of lentils instead of one. I substituted a can of spinach for the celery. In addition, I added copious amounts of spices to taste, including chili powder, cumin, curry powder, ginger, garam masala, and cayenne. As always, it was fun to play with tastes and let the slow cooker do its thing. And the degree to which the rest of my school's staff enjoyed the meal was just the sweetest icing on my crock-pot curry cake.

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