What goes in, must go up

12 01 2015

Slow cooker, where have you been all my life?

At the risk of treading the same ground forged a couple of years ago by the Princess of Pavement and her monthly recipe challenge, it’s time for the Big Ring to turn its attention to food.

This Christmas I was gifted a small slow cooker by my mother-in-law. It’s an appliance that had never before been on my culinary radar.

It just seems so old school.

We’re more for grilling our meats. There’s no off-season for our BBQ.

But this slow cooker posed new culinary challenges. And opportunities.

So I typed “slow cooker recipes” in the Google.

In the first two weeks we’ve cooked jambalaya (a little too much cayenne pepper), pulled pork and a pulled chicken/lime/cilantro¬† concoction.

Two tasty achievements in the slow cooker, jambalaya and pulled pork.

Two tasty achievements in the slow cooker, jambalaya and pulled pork.

The convenience is amazing. A little work in advance pays off when I turn on the slow cooker in the morning and then don’t have to think again about dinner until it’s time to eat, eight or ten hours later.

Next up? Turkey chilli, brisket and some sort of cinnamon apple oatmeal that’s been requested by PofP.

Of course, all that comfort food has to get burned off.

So with the roads and weather dry on Friday, the Lapierre rolled out into the fresh air for the second time this year.

PofP’s new school schedule for this semester necessitates Friday rides happening in the afternoon. Which, in the foreshortened daylight hours of winter, means a short, sharp ride.

There’s none sharper than Burnaby Mountain. Especially in January, when climbing legs are anything but.

What's wrong with this picture? It's nice there's now a separated Multi-user path on the top stretch of Burnaby Mountain; but parts of it are steeper than the road!

What’s wrong with this picture? It’s nice there’s now a separated Multi-user path on the top stretch of Burnaby Mountain; but parts of it are steeper than the road!

Tackling the 3km ascent this early in the season is also a bit of an act of defiance, a shout out that the winter sloth hasn’t been that bad.

But watching the Garmin speedo barely click into double digits is humbling. So is getting passed by the dude in shorts doing hill repeats. In January!

At least I’ve now got a baseline. It can only get better as the cycling gets more frequent.

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