- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Growing up on Erwin Farm, Christmas breakfast at our house meant fresh sausage and country-sliced bacon from the "freezer locker" (Lancaster Frozen Foods) and tons of Daddy's pancakes loaded with strawberries and blueberries.
Folks, we're talking about platters full enough to feed Granny and Granddaddy Williams and Granny Summers, along with every neighbor and young'un within shouting distance, which usually happened. Our house was filled with the aroma of maple syrup, hot coffee and pancakes.
That's OK when everyone comes to your house; but how do you make Christmas breakfast special and unique when your time is somewhat limited?
You start the night before, when possible. Imagine waking up to a fully cooked, ready- to-serve breakfast.
It's not that hard when you let a slow cooker do all the work for you.
Usually make of glazed ceramic or porcelain surrounded by a metal case, a slow cooker generates its temperature by an electric heating element.
A typical slow cooker operates at temperature between 176 and 194 degrees. Most cooks use them to cook tough cuts of meat, but that's not the only thing they can be used for.
Its secret, according to answerbag.com, is efficiently cooking with moist heat. Since the pot is kept closed and there is water or liquids in it, physics won't allow it to rise above the boiling point of the liquid.
That means you can put everything a recipe calls for into it at the same time, turn it on and forget about it.
The long cooking time means you don't have to worry about taking the contents out of a slow cooker at a certain time; a little extra cooking time won't make that much of a difference.
However, the big plus of a slow cooker is that it does all the work for you and can be left unattended.
While slow cookers are used to make stews and other dishes that need little water, they can be used to make breakfast, too.
Here are two recipes you can put together in the slow cooker on Christmas Eve that will be ready to serve your family and guests when the morning sun rises.
Breakfast in a Crock Pot is not only good, but can have sleepyheads wondering and wandering into the kitchen to see what the wonderful aroma is.
You can also use your imagination by using Canadian bacon instead of ham and Havarti or Swiss cheese instead of cheddar cheese. Some minced jalapeno peppers can also be added if you like hot foods.
Breakfast in a Crock Pot
32-ounce bag frozen hash browns
1 pound cooked lean ham, cubed, or 1 pound cooked bacon, crumbled
1 onion chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper
–Spray inside of slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray.
–In small skillet, saute onion and green pepper in olive oil until crisp and tender. Set aside and let cool for 15 minutes
–Divide hash browns, ham, cheese and onion/bell pepper mixture into thirds.
–Line slow cooker with one third of hash browns. Add one third of the ham/bacon, one third of onion/bell pepper mixture and one third of cheese in that exact order. Repeat layers two more times, ending with cheese.
–In a large bowl, beat eggs, milk and seasonings until well mixed. Pour over ingredients in slow cooker and cover.
–Cook overnight on low for 10-12 hours, until set and eggs are throughly cooked.
–NOTE"Resist the urge to peek unless it smells like it's scorching.
– Adapted by Gregory A. Summers