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Saturday, May 25, 2024

PHALON’S FILE: Back to the Crock

I wrote about crockpots in this space once, which was one time more than I ever thought I would write about crockpots. The heat levels indicated on the crockpot knob troubled me to the point that I almost felt I needed to notify the Bureau of Weights and Measurements or something.

To quickly recap, I had lived a good number of years before I paid enough attention to this small appliance to notice the gradients of heat it could produce to slow cook a stew or alligator. (It is a “croc” pot, after all. You’re welcome.) Ours has three, which I learned are standard: “Low,” self-explanatory; “High,” again, needs little explanation; and “Warm.”

Warm? Where does “Warm” fit into the scale of “Low” and “High”? It’s totally unrelated to the other measurements. That’s like having a window fan with “Slow,” “Fast” and “Cucumber” on the dial. It makes no sense, and I still haven’t resolved my issues with this, although, to be honest, I never thought about it again after my original rant. Until now.

So here I am again on crockpots, and specifically, that pesky dial. If you’ve already heard more than you want to on this subject, I don’t blame you. Skip ahead to the bowling league highlights and I’ll see you later.

I was putting the crockpot away after a recent family dinner. By the way, crockpots are great to prepare a meal when your family is prone to arriving “around” the appointed time. Just turn the food to “Warm.” Or “Low.” Or “Whatever,” a setting that would make infinitely more sense. 

Somewhere along the way the knob came off and disappeared. We looked all over in vain and decided the best way to get it to turn up would be to buy another one.

We tried to shop local, but they didn’t have one at the hardware store, so Rose tried Of course there were a multitude of knobs available, and Rose narrowed the choice down to two or three that would fit.

“This looks like a good one,” she said. It was about $5 with free shipping. She said it got good reviews, and I said “Okay,” already contributing more to this discussion than was necessary.

Then — wait a minute. There are reviews for a crockpot knob? Somebody took the time to write up a review of a $5 replacement knob? Not just one or two. There were 188 reviews of this specific $5 replacement knob. As well as 731 total ratings.

At first, I thought, “Wow, that’s a lot of people with a lot of time on their hands.” Then I remembered to think more charitably, and reminded myself that these replacement-knob reviewers were doing a selfless act by informing others of their experiences that they may make a wise decision. Advice we could use here in Stately Phalon Manor.

I read a few myself, and I realized you can learn a bit about people and their lives, hopes and dreams.

This review by Terra, posted just last week, offers a glimpse of a joyous summer, followed by a winter of discontent:

“I lost my crockpot knob at a summer celebration at the lake,” Terra told us. Such a joyous event scarred by loss. But it had a happy ending. “I ordered this one and replaced it easily myself. I will definitely recommend to friends and family. Thank you for the quick delivery and ease of ordering. It’s perfect.”

Others were not as loquacious but still expressed their joy.

“Nice,” said Tdewbert. Well said, and with a welcome economy of language.

There were some negative reviews. David P. complained the white indicator dot on his new knob did not line up perfectly with the settings on the pot. Oh, grow up! There are only four notches on the dial. Figure it out!

But, I digress from my generous thoughts. I am grateful for the people who would take the time to spare others the heartbreak of a bad purchase. And I hope the Proctor Silex people address that “Warm” setting.

Joe Phalon
Joe Phalon, Contributing Writer
Contributing Writer

Joe was lured out of retirement by the opportunity to be a part of the Ridge View Echo. During a decades-long career in publishing and journalism, he has covered government on many levels from local school boards to the United States Supreme Court.

Along the way, Joe has worked at American Lawyer Magazine, The National Law Journal and The Record among other publications, and as the Press Officer of Columbia Law School. His work has been recognized with several first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the New Jersey Press Association.

Being part of the Ridge View Echo brings Joe back to his roots and the kind of news coverage he loves: Telling the stories of people and local communities as well as keeping an eye on how their money is spent by their government officials.

Joe lives in Blairstown with his wife Rose, the founder of Quilting for a Cause, and their two wiener dogs. He is an artist in his spare time.