Okay, I admit it: I regularly cruise the free listings on craigslist. I also cruise the for sale listings when I'm looking for something particular. A couple of months ago I decided I wanted a slow cooker with a removable insert. I have a 1.5 quart one with insert and a 3.5 quart one without insert. A craigslister was selling a 6 quart cooker with removable insert for $15. NIB. Unopened. It was a gift that they never used. Bonus: It was nearby. Awesomesauce.
So I got it. I also have to admit that I was very proud of my bargain. It looked like this:
Personally, I prefer the old fashion settings. I've heard enough problems related to cookers with digital settings that I'm not interested in them at the moment. Of course, that means I can't do any programmed temperature changes or anything like that, but that's okay. I haven't missed that capability. So I was happy that it didn't have digital settings.
I often used it to bring refreshments to the library for Thursday evening Needlecrafts Club: soup, barbecue chicken, lasagna, etc. About a month or so ago, I brought it full of barbecue franks. There's a few outdoor steps down to the room we use which is in the library's basement. It was icy. I slipped and, fortunately, landed on my well-padded butt. My slow cooker was not so lucky: it looked like this afterward:
The cooker might have still worked reliably, but I didn't want to take the chance since this is an item that's designed to be left on and unattended for hours at a time.
To say I was 'devastated' is an overstatement, but 'severely bummed' probably isn't. What a bummer that something that was exactly what I wanted and obtained at such a great price -- such a bargain! -- was gone so quickly. A friend suggested that it might have been a bigger bummer if I had paid full price for it. I don't know about that. I mean, it makes sense, yet it doesn't feel that way to me.
(BTW, I am aware that this is a very small problem, if indeed it even qualifies as a problem. There is a fair bit of navel-gazing going on here today.)
Annnnnnnnnnnyway, after I fell on the ice, salt was applied and it's been kept dry since so no further falls for anyone. I was lucky that I didn't hurt myself. The steps are stone, as is the surrounding wall. I'm very lucky I didn't hurt my back or hit my head on the stone. Since it happened on library property, I asked if they would replace my cooker, to which they kindly agreed. (A different friend suggested that I threaten a lawsuit, then settle for a cooker. That strategy was, thankfully, unnecessary, yet remains impressive. She's good, that one.)
So I got the exact same cooker, for which the library reimbursed me. On sale, yes, but with shipping it ended up costing about the same as regular price at a store (i.e., without shipping). Getting the same one was a great suggestion from yet a different friend (lots of people weighed in on this topic). Because the insert and lid were fine, getting the same one would give me two inserts that worked with the same cooker. Kind of handy. The first picture above is actually the new one.
Now it's being put to much good use again, as was its predecessor. This week I'll bring in chili; the recipe is new to me. If I like the way it turns out, I'll blog it.
I'm still on the hunt for a mid-size, e.g., 3- to 5-quart slow cooker with insert. I'm sure I'll blab about it here should I find a great deal.