• Posted by Califia Suntree on March 2nd, 2010, 9:37 AM

    She may not be played by Meryl Streep any time soon, but Mable Hoffman could be called the Julia Child of the Crock-pot. Her 1975 bestseller “Crockery Cookery” (so nicely alliterative) hit an eager market of some 20 million American Crock-pot owners who knew they were a great gadget–but had no idea how to cook with the thing. Thanks to her many bestselling books on the subject, they learned, and Crock-pots became the quintessential 1970s kitchen appliance.

    They are, of course, making a comeback. Slow-cookers are now a must-have for thrifty cooks (all those dried beans! And inexpensive cuts of meat! And whole chickens!) but also for busy worker-bees without housewives who like to come home to a home-cooked meal. Mable Hoffman’s ingenuity (and her 20-slow-cooker-strong test kitchen) surely cemented the Crock-pot’s place in the American kitchen, and changed the way we cook. So, today, when I dump a bag of dried chickpeas in my slow-cooker preparing to make hummus, I will think of Mable and say “thank you!”

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