I had to finally admit defeat. I was exhausted. I crawled into bed trying to quiet my brain from running through the list of stuff that needed to be done. Exhaustion won the battle and when I woke, the house seemed different, but I couldn’t place what it was. I walked into the kitchen and saw the slow-cooker going. It smelled great. This is amazing! You see, I live with my 10 year old son, no one else. My son, Gabe, walked in the room with a big smile on his face.
“Mom, are you hungry? I made some risotto for us.” What? I was shocked.
I had been trying to figure out how to make risotto in the slow-cooker instead of the traditional way of standing in front of the stove stirring for 30 minutes. I had written out a couple of gluten-free recipe variations using Massel stock, of course, but still needed to test them. I had the papers on the kitchen counter and was not sure when I was going to get around to it. Gabe had seen the recipes and decided to surprise me when I woke up.
He told me to sit down and he would get me a bowl. Never had a bowl of food tasted so good to me. This was truly food of love. All the creamy goodness of traditional risotto and the fresh taste of the peas and dill were perfect this chilly spring afternoon. It was also the first meal that my son had made for me.
Gabe proceed to tell me that he just threw everything in the pot at once, turned the slow-cooker on high and waited 2 hours. Two hours? Was I out that long? Oops.
“This cooking thing is pretty easy.” He claimed.
“How did you do chopping the onions?” I asked.
Gabe explained, “I used the box grater because I knew I couldn’t cut it into small pieces. I threw the entire stem of dill in because I have seen you fish out the stem after a dish was cooked. You should make sure to tell people that they can use frozen peas in the recipe, as well, because that is what I did.”
You see, I think cooking is one of those things everyone must know how to do in life. Everyone should know how to prepare healthy food for themselves, be able to swim (the one sport that could actually save your life someday), and be able to manage your own finances. I have never been comfortable with cooking hidden away in the kitchen and then serving him a meal, like I am waiting on him, so I have always engaged my son in cooking with me.
Gabe has a lot of food allergies. As he better understands how food is prepared and cooked, he can make much better choices when we are out and enjoys a wider variety of foods. After I thanked Gabe for taking the initiative in preparing our dinner and said how proud of him I was, he said, “Ah, that’s okay. We are in this together, right?”
Gabe’s Slow Cooker Spring Risotto
This recipe is vegan and gluten-free .
• 3 ¾ cup Massel’s vegetable or chicken style broth. See conversion table here for instructions.
• 1 ¼ cup Arborio Rice
• ¼ cup olive oil
• ¼ cup white wine
• ½ cup green peas
• 1 teaspoon dried dill or 2 teaspoon fresh dill
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• ½ medium onion, diced
• 1 teaspoon salt
• ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1. Mix all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on High for 2 to 2 ½ hours.
2. When ready to serve you can finish with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.