This is the time when homes — and kitchens — fill with guests. With a little forethought and a slow cooker, you can have a delicious meal on hand for your family and guests that won’t stress you out.

Slow cooker meals are usually easy to assemble, and they cook without taking any of your effort or attention. Since the food can often be kept warm for long periods, it won’t matter if your guests show up late. The food is ready to go whenever you are.

I find that a dish such as pulled pork is perfect for these occasions, as it can be kept hot without overcooking the meat. You don’t even have to serve it yourself. Just set up the sandwich ingredients, in this case rolls and a tangy red cabbage slaw, and ring the dinner bell. Family members and guests can help themselves and that, during a busy holiday season, is priceless.


Meredith Deeds of Edina is the author of “Everyday to Entertaining” and “The Big Book of Appetizers.” Reach her at Follow her on Twitter @meredithdeeds.