KITCHEN-O-RAMA: Following up on Megan McArdle’s lead, I have to say that my favorite kitchen gadgets are an immersion blender (I actually have an older model, but they look the same) and, of course, the much-beloved slow-cooker, about which I’ve written before.

Reader Mike Daley writes that the All-Clad model that I got from my sister-in-law is no longer available anywhere. (This notably cheaper one is probably just as good, though.)

UPDATE: If you must have the All-Clad, reader Paul Bash reports that it’s available from Williams-Sonoma.

Daley loves his, and sends this recipe (click “more” to see it):

First item cooked was the following, rave reviews from the diners.

Pork Loin with Winter Fruits


1 boneless pork loin roast (2.75-3#’s) trimmed of fat
Freshly grated nutmeg
2 tsp. salad oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup each pitted prunes and dried apricots
1 cup dried apple slices
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup dry sherry
2 Tbl. lemon juice
1 Tbl. honey

Grate nutmeg on all sides of pork loin.
Heat oil in wide, non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat; add pork and brown well on all sides.

Meanwhile, in a 4 quart or larger electric slow cooker, combine onion,
prunes, apricots and apples; sprinkle with mustard, cinnamon and salt.
in a small bowl, mix sherry, lemon juice and honey.

Place pork on top of fruit mixture; pour sherry mixture over pork.
Cover and cook at low setting until pork is very tender when pierced
(original recipe says 7.5 to 8.5 hours, I’d start checking at about 6

Sounds yummy.