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Foodies abound

I had a great time at the opening celebration last week of the restaurant Littlenecks Bar & Grill in Weymouth — which seems to be getting off to a good start. Chef Tony DeRienzo served some terrific sushi – the hamachi yellowtail was delicious – but the high point of the evening was meeting some of the other guests DeRienzo invited.
The crowd included several interesting area foodies who made me appreciate how much of a food community we have around here.
Among them were Laurie Hepworth and Michael Hart, the publishers of Edible South Shore – one of the family of Edible Fill-in-a-Place-Name magazines that covers what’s growing locally in Bristol and Plymouth counties (that’s us).
I had wondered how the magazine was faring and was happy to hear that it’s doing really well. Hepworth said that everywhere she goes, people on the South Shore thank her for starting it so they have a forum for sharing information about food in our towns.
I also met Paula Marcoux, the magazine’s food editor, and her friend, Sandy Oliver, a book author and speaker whose body of work on the history of food is extensive.
Oliver also writes a weekly food column in Maine’s Bangor Daily News called Taste Buds. It focuses on a particular recipe each week, often showcasing ones that readers contribute. Oliver then adds some deep historic background or otherwise informed perspective on the particular food or recipe in question. She generally ends her columns by tossing out a request for people to send in recipes for another dish — and a subsequent column.
All of which makes for a very nice exchange of information among the cooks and foodies in her area – and got me thinking.
A few years ago a friend gave me a large, stainless steel slow cooker (a crock pot). It has three setting – high, low, and warm – and a five-quart ceramic interior, and I’ve never used it.
But I’d like to.
In fact, I’d love to be able to make something really delicious in the cooker for dinner — without much work.
So I emailed Sandy Oliver to make sure she didn’t mind if I copied her idea to ask readers to send in their recipes. She doesn’t, so I’m asking: Does anybody out there have any great recipes for meals made in a slow cooker?
I do have one requirement for the recipes: I do not want to have to cook anything on the stovetop before putting it into the pot. The dish can be made with beans or chicken or any type of meat, and vegetables, hopefully, but I do not want, especially, to have to brown any meat on the stove. Browning is a terrific way to seal in flavor, but it makes such a big mess that I can’t see the point of using a slow cooker if I’ve already splattered oil all over my stove.
Meeting these area (and regional) foodies – and reading some of their work – has made me realize what a valuable space this column is and how we could use it better to share what we know or want to find out about anything to do with food.
So, even if you don’t have a (fabulous) slow cooker recipe to send in, I’d love to hear about what, where, how, or why you’re cooking, buying, growing, eating, wanting, or thinking about eating around here. I can post what you write, or follow-up on questions or comments, and make this column more interactive.
Even though we’re not food historians, we each have a personal food history and an ongoing, daily food experience, which, really, makes us a kind of living library.
Please send your slow-cooker (or other) recipes, comments, or questions to, or post me a real letter at Joan Wilder, c/o Dean Inouye, Boston Globe, Box 55819, Boston, MA 02205-5819.