Most people grow up eating Chinese food (well, American Chinese food) in restaurants with their families or as takeout. Oh, those adorable white paper buckets! My family ate canned chow mein noodles with canned “chop suey” and that was some exotic stuff on the home front. My introduction to restaurant quality Chinese food came late in my college years, when my pals and I explored the DC suburbs in search of cheap eats.
Some years back I was gifted with one of the first Crockpot cookbooks, a used version which, by the looks of the dogeared pages, was at one time much loved. This was before I even had a slow cooker, and after awhile I sent it to the thrift store, since so many of the recipes involved opening cans of condensed soups or packs of spice mixes. The food snob in me declared this was most certainly not cooking, but rather dumping fake ingredients into a machine and waiting for the results, a mix of foods and non-foods which eventually would resemble food.