The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Z_CNHI News Service

November 1, 2013

Crock pot sausage, sauerkraut a perfect autumn meal

Sometimes I get frustrated with people when they say they can't cook.

Do you remember when the teacher in the Charlie Brown specials started talking to the class and it came across as, “Wah, wah, wah wah?” In a similar fashion, the instant translation in my brain of “I can't cook,” is that you choose not to cook or don't want to take the time to learn to cook.

Granted, I can share those harsh thoughts without fear of retribution because I assume that if you're reading this column, you have an interest in learning how to prepare great food for your family and friends. And if you are new to this craft of cooking great food, the crock pot is a fantastic place to start.

Close your eyes and envision this scene: You walk into your home on a cool, brisk autumn day after a long day of “workin' for the man.” The minute you enter your abode, hearty aromas of sausage, apple and sauerkraut greet you. It's as if someone prepared a meal just for you. You immediately feel warm and cared for.

Welcome to crock pot cooking, my friend. While it's not BBQ or grilling, I absolutely love it, and I will be sharing my best crock pot recipes through the autumn and winter.

You probably have a crock pot stashed in your cabinet from a wedding or birthday gift from the past. If not, go buy one. You can get a reasonably good crock pot for as little as $30.

This dish is absolutely one of my favorites, and it is perfect for this time of year.

You don't want to  overcook this, so start it at lunch time. It only takes a few hours of cooking, and the potatoes are the only thing you prepare separately.

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