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I haven’t used my crock pot yet this year. One thing I never did understand was where the name “crock pot” came from… so I Googled it. This is the answer that wikiAnswers gave me: Some of the first crock pots were made out of wood, and lined with crocodile skin so there weren’t any leaks. So they named it the crocodolo pot. Over time, people have shortened it to crock pot.

Sounds like a load of crock to me, but I got nothin’ else, so it’s going to have to do.

With the insane schedules that Daryl and I have been up against lately, I decided that pulled pork barbecue done in the crock would be on the menu for the one evening that we get to share together this week. I was off today, however, I had a lunch date scheduled for noon so I didn’t want to fuss with anything complicated for dinner should my afternoon get held up while socializing.

Easy smeezy…

I threw a pork shoulder cut with bone in the crock pot late last night. I poured a 1/4 cup of organic chicken broth, 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar (to help cut the fat), and finally, a few splashes of red wine into the crock pot. I added some fresh herbs including thyme, rosemary, cayenne pepper (to taste,) and cracked pepper. I also diced a half of a red onion and tossed a few smashed cloves of garlic before I topped it with a couple of bay leaves and programmed it on LOW.

This morning I picked the shoulder out of the crock, strained the liquid, and literally “pulled” the meat from the bone and remaining fat. I placed the “pulled pork” back into the crock pot then added more cracked pepper and a few squirts from a bottled barbecue sauce and left it on WARM for the remainder of the afternoon. It smelled amazing and was SO easy to do!

I needed a side dish, and my local Whole Foods came to the rescue with yet another tweeted recipe from Twitter. I love sweet potatoes, and this recipe for an oven-roasted herb version was the perfect complement to a pulled pork barbecue sandwich.

herb-roasted sweet potato skins courtesy of a "tweeted" Whole Foods recipe

RECIPE for Herb-Roasted Sweet Potato Skins:

4 medium sweet potatoes, halved lengthwise
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
Salt and pepper to taste 

Preheat oven to 400°F. Pierce potatoes all over with a fork then arrange on a greased foil-lined baking sheet, cut sides down, and bake until tender but not mushy, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside until cool enough to handle; reserve foil-lined baking sheet.

Arrange a rack in the oven about 6 inches from the heating element and preheat broiler. Scoop about half of the potato flesh from the skins, leaving a 1/2-inch thick wall around the edges and bottom of each half. (Reserve scooped out flesh for another use.) Cut each sweet potato shell lengthwise into 1/2-inch strips then arrange on the same foil-lined baking sheet in a single layer.

In a small bowl, combine oil, parsley, oregano, rosemary, thyme, sage, salt and pepper then brush all over potato skins and broil until browned in parts and piping hot, 4 to 6 minutes total.

I added a few sprinkles of fresh goat cheese before serving and the flavor was incredible!

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