The Underachiever: In London the slow cooker (a fantastic wedding present) had been put to some use, but the reality was it didn't get the daily slash weekly use and attention this fantastic piece of kit richly deserves. If only we were that organised.
The Realisation of A Truly Essential Kitchen Item: Unsure of the existing oven's capabilities, packed the slow cooker into the back of the car. Turns out to be the best best best (enough emphasis?) kitchen utensil of them all. Popped some beef, mushrooms, tomato paste, onion, garlic and red wine straight into it in the morning. Turned onto 'low', had a full day's ski, returned utterly shattered and unable to verbalise a single syllable let alone pull together a full meal, and the beef is not only ready, but it's the best meal of all time (Well, maybe. At the time, definitely), only needing some mashed potatoes (relatively straightforward even in zombie state), and job done.
An Even Bigger Bonus: The 5 year's supply of fennel seeds were even put to use - a fennel and pork loin dish in cider followed the next night. Now need to cook that dish another 20 times and the super supply of fennel seeds in an otherwise fairly bare spice rack will be justified.