Four Photos and a True Story

I swear I’m not making this up.

Once upon a time there was a five-year-old (give or take) crock pot.  One charming evening I went to open said crock pot from which I planned to serve my family a delicious and healthy meal only to discover (gasp!) that the handle on the lid had broken.

broken handle
Major bummer!  This is my handy-dandy-six-quart-progamable-and-still-fully-functioning-except-for-this-dang-handle crock pot!  It seemed such a shame to toss this handy and still fully functioning gadget just because of a little flaw like this.

“Call the manufacturer!” suggested Mike.

So I did.  It was easy to do as the phone number is actually printed on the side of the slow cooker.  I know.  Weird.

To my disbelief, after only a very short phone tree, a real live, uh, what are they called?  Oh yes: customer service representative answered the phone.  The friendly rep stated, repeatedly “I am so sorry that this happened to you!”  Seriously.  The rep said this so many times that I actually told her that she needn’t be so concerned.  Last time I checked, a broken crock pot handle is not grounds for such heart-felt sorrow.
“I’m gonna make it.”  I told her.  “Really.  It’s true.  All I want to know is if I can get a new handle to screw back onto the lid.”

“Oh my,” she replied, “I couldn’t ask you to do that!” (Cannot stress enough how distraught this poor woman sounded.)  “I think we can send you a brand new lid.  May I place you on hold while I check?”

Eleven seconds pass.  She’s back.   “I’m so sorry,” replied the rep, “But we’ve discontinued that model of crock pot.”  Gasp again (her, not me.)  “And so,” continued the rep “if you’ll please read me the model number on the bottom I’ll be happy to send you a brand new crock pot at no cost to you.”

“What the what?”  Am I on candid camera?  Is it 1952?  Have I been drinking but I don’t recall? (not that something like that has ever happened before.)

Ladies and gentlemen, I kid you not.  I swear the facts described in this vignette are true.  Rival sent me a new crock pot for free and it arrived three days post phone conversation.

new arrival

I unpacked my new cooker so we could check out the newest addition to my gadget family.

Tah-dah!

new pot

You may recall that the title of my post is “Four Photos…”  What else could I possibly photograph?  Would you believe…

punch line

The new lid does fit the old pot.  Just has a fancy new model number.

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Ultimate Friday-night Scrounge

So last Friday night I was in the mood to drink wine and have friends over for dinner.  At this stage in my life, though, “having friends over” can mean quite a crowd.  One girlfriend now comes attached to at least two kiddos and even one of those husbands.  It can be challenging to find the time and money to provide a meal for even smaller gatherings on a regular basis.  But it’s poor form to drink wine alone.
 
So I called my girlfriend, Lisa, and asked what she had in her fridge.  (I told you I do this.)  She has a three daughters, including a baby so I figured she may have the goods but no time to whip them into din-din.  I was spot-on.  I grabbed (with her permission!) a bunch of great stuff: spinach, onion, carrots, celery.  What a find!  I chopped it all up, threw it in a pan with some mushrooms, dash a wine and tomato sauce, boilin’ pot ‘a pasta, and wah-lah!  Dinner is on its way!
 
Here’s the really great part: while this is simmering I’m on the phone with my friend Denise who happens to mention that for her family’s dinner she’s defrosting some meatballs she made a while ago…  It was like a sign from heaven.
 
I turned on the charm and invited Denise’s family and meatballs over to join the dinner party.  Would you believe she even threw together a salad for us all to share?
 
These friends of mine also happen to be neighbors which is great because when you drink as much wine as we do, it’s nice to be able to walk on home.