Busy mother finds Crock-Pot saves many an evening meal

BY GINNA PARSONS

Daily Journal

BELDEN – One of the delights in Heather Surholt’s life is teaching the third-grade choir at Harrisburg Baptist Church in Tupelo on Wednesday nights. But an even greater pleasure is sitting down at the table with her husband, Shannon, and three children to enjoy the evening meal.

To get the best of both worlds, Surholt came up with “Crock-Pot Wednesday” on her blog (www.homewithheather .blogspot.com). Every Wednesday, the 36-year-old would feature a recipe that could be started in the morning and served with minimal fuss at night.

“People give me recipes all the time,” she said. “Word of mouth spreads and people give me recipes that are tried and true.”

During the fall and winter months, Surholt featured roasts, soups, stews and other cool-weather fare. But now that summer is upon us, Surholt has turned up the heat. “Crock-Pot Wednesday,” for a time, has become “Hot Off the Grill Wednesday.”

“The good thing about the grill recipes is I don’t even know how to turn on a grill,” Surholt said, laughing. “I just prepare the food and my husband cooks it.”

When Surholt makes a boo-boo in a recipe, she’s quick to let her blog readers know it. Once, she prepared red beans and rice in the Crock-Pot, but she didn’t turn the cooker on. When she got home, there was a cold pot full of hard beans, sausage and spices.

“I try every recipe I write about,” she said. “Some are better than others. If I make something and it’s not great and someone tells me they’re planning to make that recipe, I say, You might want to try something else.’ I did a Chinese chicken and vegetable dish one time and it wasn’t one of the best. I thought it was going to be like something out of a Chinese restaurant, but it wasn’t.”

Road work

Surholt, a physical therapist who travels a lot with home health, admits that some days she doesn’t always eat healthfully like she’s supposed to. She spends a lot of time in the car between assignments.

“I eat a lot of fast food,” she said. “I probably eat burgers three times a week. But it’s hard to eat salad when you’re driving in a car.”

To keep the pounds off, Surholt runs two to three miles at least two to three times a week. After she hurt her back in the spring, the running had to stop and she turned to swimming. Now that her back’s better, she runs and swims.

“I have to exercise or I couldn’t eat, because I love to eat,” she said. “And, no, I’m not some great cook. I’m just a mom trying to put a meal on the table for my husband and kids.”

Do you know a good cook? Send your nominations to Ginna Parsons, Cook of the Week, P.O. Box 909, Tupelo, MS 38802. Or you can fax them to (662) 842-2233 or e-mail them to ginna.parsons@djournal.com. Each Cook of the Week will receive $10 from the Daily Journal.