Monday November 21, 2005
“How would you fancy a coffee and croissant breakfast in Boston today?” I asked.
“That’d be nice. Any particular reason?”
“Yeah. I’ve given up trying to find my slow cooker so I’ve reserved a cheapo model at Argos.”
“Gosh. Well, you’re not going to find one cheaper than that.”
“No. Not even on eBay.”
“Okay. Give me fifteen minutes and I’ll be ready.”
And that’s how, on the coldest morning yet, we found ourselves in Costa Coffee sipping good, strong coffee and munching into rather delicious freshly baked croissants. I was dunking mine, of course, and Graham was doing his best studiously to ignore me. He’s old fashioned on the subject of dunking, having been brought up to think of it as a disgusting habit of the lower orders. One day I must take him to breakfast in Paris where he’ll be surrounded by people dunking all sorts of pastry into their morning café au lait. That’ll cure him.
We did some other shopping while we were there, finishing up with the slow cooker so as not to have to carry it around for too long.
I was rather impressed when we got home and unpacked the new gadget. Less than half the price of posh, well-known brands, it’s well made, solid, and with a much better configuration than normal, being taller than it is wide.
“Will you use it today?” Graham asked.
“No. There’s not time to do a slow cook now and the point of the thing is completely lost if you run it on high. I’ll do us something very munchy tomorrow to try it out.”
“Good. Can’t wait.”
“You haven’t seen my crock pot recipe book anywhere, have you?”
“Oh, don’t say you’ve lost that, too.”
“Looks like it. No matter. I don’t need it for a basic casserole, and there are a gazillion recipes on the Internet.”
“Finding good solid English recipes won’t be so easy.”
“I’ll take that as a challenge.”
“You better. I’ll put a new English crock pot recipe book on your Christmas list if you like.”
“That’d be cool.”
So, with or without my old recipe book, I’m set up for a winter of good, sustaining crock pot meal production. I have a feeling it may well be a winter when sustaining meals are going to be necessary. Perishin’ cold out there today.
 Argos: A high street catalogue store, being the direct successor to the old Green Shield Stamps stores and a good source of domestic consumer durables of all kinds, generally but not always cheaper than the competition.