The old fashioned way……small delights

When I was a child, if a part of a piece of equipment broke, one sought out a replacement part. One didn’t have the financial luxury to simply replace the entire piece of equipment. Increasingly, it appears, our culture has developed a “disposable” mindset. If anything goes awry, just junk the whole thing and buy a new one. So why does this come to mind?

I have a Westbend slow cooker that is a four piece unit- heating base with power cord, retangular metal cookpot, and a top. I inherited the cooker from my mother-in-law. It was already well used by the time I married into the family in 1972, so I’m guessing it must be about 45-50 years old. It is my favorite way to cook rump roasts, chicken breasts for chicken salad, stews, and corned beef. The top was a molded plastic style that had, in the last year or so, developed a crack. I continued to use it until the crack spread all the way across the lid, leaving two halves. At that point I had three choices: throw the whole thing away and buy a new one, employ duct tape to hold the two lid pieces together, or try to find a replacement top. After pricing the new Westbend cookers online at $60-70, I decided to try to find a replacement top. I called a local small appliance repair shop. They suggested I contact Westbend directly. Duh! So I located Westbend online and – tada! – they had a replacement parts division. (Thank goodness Westbend is one long standing company that has managed to weather the economy through the years!) Scrolling down the list of manufacturer’s listed models, I didn’t find my particular cooker, but I did find one that looked very close and it had a list of available replacement parts. For under $10, I was able to purchase a replacement lid. I placed the order and said a little prayer that it would fit. Otherwise, I’d be out the money and still need to replace the cooker.

When the lid arrived a week or so ago, I unwrapped it as I said another prayer, then went to the cupboard to retrieve my lidless cooker. As I gently placed the lid on the cooker, I gave out a squeal of delight to find that it fit! The way my Mother used to calculate that, I just saved about $50.

This morning I am initiating the new lid. Winn Dixie had rump roasts on sale buy 1 get 1 free, my favorite sale! So into the Westbend slow cooker went my small rump roast, seasonings, and a cup and a half of water. In about 4-5 hours we’ll have a tender, perfectly cooked roast with au jus gravy. Bill, Abby, and I will enjoy a meal and I will have the satisfaction of having solved a small problem the old fashioned way.

PS- the roast was delicious!