When Michelle and I moved into our apartment in late August, I looked at the large kitchen and realized that if I was ever going to get into the act of cooking, this would be the time.

Something crazy took over me. I changed. I had been a girl who was terrified of cooking and accidentally killing someone with her rare efforts. I became a woman ready to make things and wanted people to enjoy the food that she would create. I realized this fully when I looked at my roommate and said, “You know what I want to get? A crock pot. I can’t wait until the time is right and I make homemade beef and vegetable stew. Irish-style. Lots of potatoes.”

I bought the crock pot last week. I may have burst into song and looked at the box in my hands. “You’re so pretty! You’re coming home with mama!”

Last night, I finished battling Jillian (Score: V 6, J 2) and then turned to slice and dice the ingredients for today’s early winter meal plans: stew beef, potatoes, celery, onion, peas and…

Where are the carrots? Did I forget the carrots? I HAVE NO CARROTS!

It was 10 p.m. Normal logic would dictate that I chalk it up to poor planning and make due.

But this was Crock Pot Logic at play. Which is why I found myself going to the grocery store at 10 p.m. to buy carrots. A woman possessed.

When I get home tonight, with the cider and bread I plan to pick up on my way home, I am going to walk through that door and take a deep breath. I will be met with the smell of one of my favorite things on the planet. And I do believe that a few people will soon arrive at my door and prepare to share it with me.

Hot homemade stew, bread, cider. Cold rain beating against the windows of a nice warm apartment.

Who’s a winner? This gal right here.