Last summer, I had the opportunity to travel with a group of teenagers and adults from my church on a mission trip to the Houston, Texas, area. When it came to our meals, we initially thought we’d have to eat all of our dinners out since the facility we were spending most of our time had no kitchen. The expense of eating out every night was not ideal, especially considering the quality of food available. I told our youth minister, “We don’t need a kitchen, we just need a bunch of crocks!” We asked other church members to donate their slow cookers for the week. Armed with 15 slow cookers and the Crockin’ Girls Slow Cookin’ Companion Cookbook, we loaded up and off we went.
Each day, our group helped clean out facilities in the Third Ward or put on a children’s fair in the community, all while dinner was crockin’ away. I had up to 13 crocks going with everything from appetizers to desserts, and it allowed us to feed our crew of more than 75 volunteers. The first night, we had Faith’s Cheese Dip, shredded chicken and beef tacos, and Cherry Dump Cake. The next night, we feasted on Buffalo Chicken Dip, Shredded Pork sandwiches, and Triple Chocolate Mess. The crew would come back tired and hungry, but each night they were met with a hot meal and it helped get them ready for the next day. I knew I was on to something good when one of the teenagers took a bite of the Triple Chocolate Mess and said, “This is the best chocolate cake I have ever had.”
It seems like such a simple thing but it really made a difference. Slow cooking our meals during this trip gave everyone a taste of home while they were working hard and helping others.