Seat of the Pants Cooking, Summer edition


It’s been a couple of years since I’ve posted about my ‘Seat of the Pants’ cooking style. Since the last post, I’ve gotten a new slow cooker and I find them more useful in the heat of the summer than the winter.



In cold winter months, I’d rather have a roast in the oven that fills the house with an aroma that makes your mouth water. Not that you don’t get some good scents coming from the slow cooker but, it’s not the same.

Anyway…before I get into what I cooked yesterday I want to tell you about where I shop for the best meats.

When we first moved here I loved going to the little market a few blocks away. A typical ‘grab and go’ kind of place but with a fabulous butcher shop in the back. They also make sandwiches for take-out.

Oh, and it’s where I met the best dog sitter, Jann. Sadly, Jann has moved to Alabama. ☹ Please come back, Jann!!!

Where was I? Oh…

After being here for a while I discovered the butcher shop inside the market got their meats from an open to the public wholesale meat market a couple of towns away. It’s kind of on my way to the full-size grocery store. How convenient!

I thought I’d died and gone to heaven the first time I went there. On a typical visit to the wholesaler, I’ll get 2 filet mignon, 2 pork chops or a pork roast, a huge bag of chicken breasts, and maybe ribs. Plus, a dozen jumbo eggs for $.99, butter, an assortment of cheeses, ground turkey for the dog grub, prepared macaroni or potato salad, and freshly made meatballs. Grand total is usually between $45-60.00!!

Yes, you read that correctly!

This time of year with so many excellent produce stands around us and this gold mine for quality meats, etc., we eat like royalty.

So, I had gotten pork tenderloin at the meat market and fresh peaches at the farm stand and decided to put it together in the slow cooker. I perused several recipes online to get a feel for how I wanted to make it.

I rubbed the pork with a mixture of smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, garlic, fresh thyme, and rosemary.

I peeled and cut four peaches and mixed them with a little bourbon, a sweet heat chili sauce, red wine vinegar, brown sugar, and a little sriracha. After it got going it smelled delicious.

In the end, it was not quite spiced enough. It needed more heat and bourbon, I think. It wasn’t bad but, could have been much better. ‘Seat of the Pants’ cooking is always an adventure and sometimes it turns out better than expected. This wasn’t one of those times, but it won’t keep me from trying again.

Do you ever cook this way? What are some of your favorite slow cooker recipes? Please share with me in the comments.


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  1. Roxanne Jones

    My stomach is growling…Even though I don’t eat meat, your recipe sounds wonderful (and wonderfully fragrant), and you woke me up to the idea of using the crockpot in the summer. I’d always thought of it as a wintertime option for soups and stews, but it sure beats turning on the stove when it’s hot and humid (or the grill if it’s pouring rain). Thanks, Barbara!

    • Barbara

      You’re welcome, Roxanne! It took me a while to make the connection about using the crockpot in the summer. It was a real ‘aha’ moment. I use it more than I used to. Let me know what you make!

  2. Pia

    it sounds great. You can invite me to dinner anytime.I love experiments as long as they don’t have processed meats or MSG!
    I would have left out the sugar because cooking condenses the sugar in peaches, me thinks, the sweet heat chili sauce and I think Siracha has a sugary undertone–hey I sometimes pretend I moved to SC because it’s the home of the most amount of various kinds and hottest hot peppers in the USA. I grow Tabasco mostly because I can throw them in water for drinking and they’re so pretty.
    I read cooking books for fun and have never ever used a recipe. I practiced on my sister beginning when I was around 10.She still hasn’t forgiven me but admits I’m a good cook now! (I guess parents now would freak before giving 10 year olds full access. Never thought about that before)

    • Barbara

      I appreciate your critique, Pia, but fresh peaches and a bit of brown sugar are a great combo. I needed more heat, for sure. Will do it differently next time but, it was still a pretty good dish. I use recipes as a guideline only. Rarely do I follow one to the letter. Where’s the fun in that??

  3. Carol Cassara (@ccassara)

    Ys yes yes this sounds so darn yummy. I do this kind of cooking, too. But peaches and pork are GOLDEN!

    • Barbara

      I missed the mark with not enough heat. I think it’s because the peaches are sooo sweet this season! But, I love melding recipes and coming up with fun dishes. Experimentation in cooking is FUN!
      Thanks for stopping by, Carol!

  4. Tamara

    You’ve hit on my biggest issue with slow cookers, which is that it can be hard to develop ‘big’ flavors. I find them best for soups, or for slow cooking meat in order to shred it, but otherwise not so much.

    And no, I’m not very daring so I generally follow recipes to the letter!

    • Barbara

      You should try winging it sometimes, Tamara. If you know the flavors/ spices you like it’s not that hard to improvise. Problem is, I never write down amounts or anything so, my chances of repeating a real winner are slim! Oh well.

  5. Leanne |

    It sounds delicious – much more interesting than the casseroles and soups I do in my slow cooker. I must confess to not using it as much now there’s only the two of us at home – it used to be a great back up plan when the kids were around.

    • Barbara

      You’re right about cooking for 2, Leanne. It’s hard to make small batches of anything in a slow cooker, but I’m working on it. Maybe a cook book some day. HA!

  6. Caitlynne Grace

    Reading this post has me thinking that maybe I got to go dig out my crockpot from 15 years before!!! Back in the day, I used it every single day to make rice porridge for my babies. Pop it on late at night before I slept and I was good to go the next morning. It was a life-saver.

    • Barbara

      Go for it, Caitlynne! You can find tons of recipes online for so many varieties of dishes that are meant for slow cookers.