When I turned 17, my parents gifted me with this Rival Crock Pot.  I will be 57 this year, and I still use this nearly 40 year old crock pot.  I love it.  I have had a few others over the years but this one has out lasted them all.  It’s not fancy – it only cooks on low or high and it does not have a timer.

My 40 Year-old Crock Pot

Both my Mother and Father are responsible for my love and knack for cooking.  From the time I was about 5 years old, my Mother had me in the kitchen with her.  My Sister joined us when she was old enough.  My Dad taught me how to grill and to use seasoning to enhance food.

My Mom loved kitchen gadgets (that explains why I have so many) and she loved to use the crock pot for soups, stews, spaghetti sauce and roast.

Since we were a Military family and typically, far from home, my Mother made cooking and serving food a huge part of our lives.  She was very creative in the kitchen, trying recipes and always tweaking them. 

Holidays were the best

  • New Year’s Day – Ham, potato salad, black-, eyed peas, cornbread (all good things for a prosperous year)!
  • Easter – Ham, deviled eggs, some sort of casserole.
  • Fourth of July – BBQ, watermelon, homemade ice cream
  • Thanksgiving – Turkey, dressing, brown rice, asparagus casserole, squash casserole, green beans.
  • Christmas – homemade lasagna, salad, bread
  • Oh,  and the desserts – pecan pie, caramel cake, sour cream pound cake, lemon glazed pound cake, chocolate pudding pie, Christmas cookies (we made 4 or 5 different kinds every year).
All stirred up and ready to cook.

It makes me smile every time I use it. 

Since winter came back with a vengeance this week (17 degrees this morning), I am sharing one of my family’s favorite soups that I cook in this crockpot each time I make it. 

Taco Soup

  • 1.75 pounds of lean organic ground beef – Kirkland Signature
  • 1 15 oz can of pinto beans
  • 1 15 oz can of dark red kidney beans – drained
  • 1 15 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 can of Ro-Tel tomatoes
  • 2 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes
  • 2 15 oz cans of golden sweet corn or white shoepeg corn (I use 1 of each)*
  • 3 to 4 Tblsps of Taco Seasoning from a large container (McCormick’s) or 2 packets of your favorite brand
  • ½ to 1 whole packet of ranch seasoning mix – optional
  • 1 to 2 cups of chicken broth – Pacific
  • Fritos, shredded cheese, sour cream, cilantro – whatever garnish you like but the Fritos are a must!
Browned ground beef

Brown the ground beef over medium heat until no longer pink. Add to the bottom of the crockpot.  Open all cans and add all ingredients to the crockpot.  Stir to mix well.  Cook on low setting 6 to 8 hours. 

Serve with:

Fritos – just cover the bottom of the bowl and ladle the soup on top.

Fritos in the bottom of the bowl

Add shredded cheese, sour cream or green onions.  Chopped ciiantro adds a nice touch as well.

*You can use an additional can of corn and beans if you like a thicker more stew-like soup.

This soup is filling and satisfying.  It cooks perfectly in the crockpot. 

Ready to eat!

My crockpot will continue to be used for many more years to come.  Over the years, it has brought me joy every time I get it out of the cabinet to use it and each time I create a meal in it that my parents would be proud of!

Most of my canned goods and the ranch dressing mix are Kroger products. This post is not sponsored.

Have a fantastic week. Spring is finally in the air!


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