The first recipe I decided to try out in my shiny new slow cooker was beef stew. I found the recipe in my cookbook, which said it was good for both medium and large slow cookers. Great! I thought, My slow cooker counts as "medium" for this book, so we're good to go!
Do you see where the flaw in this logic might be?
So if the amounts in the recipe are good for both a medium and large slow cooker, and my slow cooker is at the small end of this cookbook's "medium" scale... Yup, it made waaaaaay too much beef stew for my poor little medium slow cooker. Being the oblivious, inexperienced cook that I am, I didn't realize this fact until I'd already added the carrots and potatoes, cooked all the meat, and mixed in the celery and onion. Only when I went to scoop the meat mix into the slow cooker did I realize there was no way it would all fit and still leave the recommended 2-inch gap at the top.
So I pulled out all the carrots and potatoes, divided all the ingredients in two, and immediately refrigerated one half. I then refilled the slow cooker, this time with only half of the ingredients. Four hours later, I cooked up some rice and had a very yummy, very tender beef stew for dinner. :)
There still remains one problem, however. Just a half-batch is almost too much food for me. There is at least 4 more servings I can get out of my leftovers, and that's not counting the second batch that I'm cooking up now. Oi! I'm hoping I can give some of it to my local friends...
Update, 6:10 PM: Hey... couldn't I freeze the excess? What wonders of modern technology!