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  1. Preparation : Vegetables intended for the crockpot should be cut into bite-size pieces not only for convenience in eating, but for better cooking, too. Surprisingly, vegetables can take longer to cook than meat in Crockpots. The vegetables will be more tender if you cut the veggies into pieces around 1/2 inch. USING THE CROCKPOT AS AN OVEN: When the oven is full and all burners on the range are in use, (as in cooking a holiday dinner), pull out your crockpot. You can cook such things as bread, puddings, baked beans and custard in the crockpot. USING THE CROCKPOT AS A STEAMER: You can prepare steamed bread or pudding in a shaped molds or jars in the crockpot, too. Do NOT use shortening cans, coffee cans or vegetable cans for cooking in the crockpot. Most cans contain lead and are painted with or sealed with materials that give off toxic gases when heated. If you use jars, use only CANNING jars. They are tempered and will withstand the heat. Choose straight-sided canning jars with WIDE mouths because otherwise it's more difficult to get the food out of the jars. To assure that the bake cake or bread will slip out easily, grease the inside of the jar and lie the bottom of the jar with waxed paper. Cover each jar with a piece of foil greased on one side. Place the greased side DOWN and press the foil around the edges of the jar to seal tightly. BEVERAGES: When it's cold and damp outside, you can simmer hot beverages which will stay at perfect sipping temp. And the aroma of spiced tea or punch will appeal to your family and/or guests. They can serve themselves from the crockpot. PARTY TIME: Dips and other appetizers such as meatballs will stay at the right temp. and consistency for several hours in the crockpot. You can buy crockpots up to a 6-quart size which are i


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