Friday, July 1, 2011

Pulled pork... crockpot-style!

So, it's summer. Triple digits. Steamy hot sidewalks. Swimsuits and cold beers. We recently signed up with the local electric company's Wattsaver Program. Basically we received a free, digital/programmable new thermostat in exchange for agreeing to allow the electric company to "cycle [our] central air conditioners or heat pumps in a coordinated effort to reduce energy demand." Wow. What a concept!?! Working together in an attempt to increase energy efficiency??? We recycle, our main vehicle gets good gas mileage and doesn't require 1 1/2 lanes in order to drive down the road, we let our grass stay relatively long to provide it's roots with some shade instead of watering... and watering... and watering... and the Wattsaver Program seemed like one more thing we could do. John really made this one happen and he's also been the driving force behind our energy audit that we're having done next month - we'll have a 3-4 hour audit done throughout our house to determine what improvements can be done to increase the efficiency of our home. I like. I like.

The heat plays a role in my day-to-day doings as well. I always do one load of laundry per day. It makes sense to me - one load in the wash, one load out of the dryer and put away. Quick, simple, and it means there is never a pile of laundry to be washed or folded. With the higher temps, I load the washing machine first thing in the morning so it's done before the sun is high. And the dryer runs after the sun goes down, so as to not add any extra heat to the house or to have an additional appliance running while the a/c is working away. I also use the oven a lot less. Which means that when we're having friends for dinner, many of my main dishes aren't an option...

Solution: Crockpot Pulled Pork. We had this last night (and leftovers tonight) and it was a hit, with both the adults and the kids! And the heat from the crockpot was minimal compared to what stovetop or oven cooking would have done on a 103° day.

Crockpot Pulled Pork

idea courtesy of my momma
  • Pork (well... duh???): pork butt, pork roast... whatever you can get your hands on
  • Green salsa 
  • 1 large organic tomato
  • 2 organic garlic cloves (and ours were homegrown!)
    • Turn crockpot to high
    • Place pork into crockpot
    • Add chopped tomato, finely chopped garlic, 1 C salsa
    • I diluted the salsa a bit with organic chicken broth just to make sure it wasn't too spicy for the little ones
    • Put lid on and keep on high for 30 minutes, or so
    • Turn down to low and leave to cook for 6-8 hours
    • Because of the added broth, I strained the pork after 7 hours and returned the meat to the crockpot for another hour. 
    • Sandwiches: whole wheat slider buns, pork, fresh cabbage and carrot slaw, organic bread and butter pickles, BBQ sauce
Fresh Cabbage and Carrot slaw
  • 1/2 organic cabbage
  • 2 organic carrots
  • 1 organic lime
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
    • Finely chop cabbage
    • Shred carrots
    • Juice 1/2 lime
    • Mix all with vinegar; refrigerate until go-time!

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