The simplest thing you can cook in a crock pot is pinto beans. Even you geeks out there who can't manipulate anything without a keyboard can do this. It helps if you are able to make cornbread to go with the beans, but it's not necessary. You can eat them as a soup.

Get a pot and boil some water. Fill it about half full, and throw in a tablespoon of salt. When the water comes to a boil, throw in some pinto beans. Hell, I don't know: How ever many you think you can eat! But they will expand so don't overdo.

When the beans come to a boil, turn the eye off and let them sit for an hour. Get out the crock pot and turn it on low. Pour the beans in there. Is there a lot of water left? Good. If there's not, add some more. You see, the beans soak up the water. It didn't disappear; it just moved. Don’t let it frighten you.

You're pretty much done here, except for any flourishes you want to add. You can throw in a bay leaf, some soy sauce, some celery or onion salt, some parsley, whatever. You probably want to add more salt and some pepper. You will find that they'll do fine without anything else except the added salt, but you'll learn how to do this the way you like.

Oh, there's one more essential thing! When they are soft, use something to mash about a third of them up. This is what will make the soup taste good.

It'll take 15 hours or so for them to get ready, and it doesn't hurt to cook them for a whole lot longer.

Suggested accouterments? Cornbread is essential. Cole slaw is wonderful. Sweet pickle relish adds a great garnish. In fact, you can just make a mush of all the above (it looks horrible) and have a great meal. When someone comes in and asks what you're eating, just say, "I don't know. Something the dog threw up." This will leave more for you to consume later.