A necessity for every Midwestern kitchen

Everyone here in the Midwest has a crock pot.

The big-box store down the road has an entire isle dedicated to slow cookers. OK, that’s not entirely true; the slow cookers actually creep around the corner to the next isle, too.

Filled with meat, canned tomatoes, more salt and pepper (inevitably pre-ground), crock pots appear at every potluck. (Power strips are often employed for larger gatherings to ensure electricity for everyone.) And no matter the crock pot’s contents, it always looks — and tastes — identical.

One exception: if, instead of ground pork, it’s holding Li’l Smokies and barbeque sauce, then it does looks different, even if it tastes about the same.

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