Slow cooking for cold weather

-posted by Anne C.

This winter, I visited my aunt at her home in rural England. I love her old house, with its thick stone walls, but my favorite feature is the oil-fired aga in the heart of the kitchen. An aga, rare in the US, is a very efficient, unique kind of cast-iron stove that is used as both a cooking appliance and a source of heat. There are no temperature controls, but it works perfectly for everything from frying eggs to baking bread. It particularly excels at any kind of slow cooking. Entranced, I experimented with stew, crumble, and cottage pie during our short time there.

Back in the USA now I have no aga, but the joy of slow cooked food has stayed with me. Over the holidays, I made bone broth for the first time and relived my childhood with a batch of homemade turkey soup from this recipe that is JUST like my mother’s. (Trust me, it’s amazing!) For new ideas, I have since turned to the library:

These One Pot Slow Cooker cookbooks are a great starting point for use with dutch ovens and crock pots.

Books in this Slow Cooker World Cuisine list introduce flavors from variety of continents and cultures—lots of vegetarian recipes here, as well.

I have even discovered these books, which give great ideas on how to use a rice cooker in place of a crock pot.

If you have an interest in unusual cookware, world cuisine, or even tracking down a favorite recipe from your childhood, give us a shout! We would love the chance to explore these things together and perhaps gain some new ideas for our own kitchen projects. Visit us at any library location or Ask a Librarian, by phone, email, or 24/7 chat.

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