Digging Sweet Potatoes

Today Annie went with her class on an important school ritual in Japan — imo-hori, or sweet-potato digging/pulling.  Owen missed getting to do this his last year of youchien (preschool/kindergarten) because we were in the U.S. that season;  we were glad that Annie could do this!  If you ask a Japanese to name food associated with fall, they would most likely say one of three foods:  persimmon (my personal favorite – blog here); chestnuts (my least favorite, but growing on me); or sweet potatoes.  She was quite proud of her pull, and spent a good 45 minutes scrubbing her eight treasures as clean as she could.


I find a lot of sweet potato recipes very dry, and am always searching for good ways to make them.  Since tonight was crockpot night, I tried a new one- and we all loved it.  It has an interesting blend of spices- and I happened to have them all.  I’ve always wanted to try a recipe with fennel seeds and really loved the flavor they add.  One of the side benefits of this recipe is that your home will smell delicious all afternoon.

Sugar and Spice Pork Loin

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 medium Yukon potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 medium red onions, cut into quarters (I used regular white onions)
  • 1/2 C olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1/2  teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 Cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • One 4 pound pork loin roast (I used 2 tenderloins)
  • 1/2 C chicken broth

Arrange veggies inside crockpot.  Drizzle 1/4 C olivie oil over and toss to coast.  Combine the spices, sugar, slat and pepper in a small bowl.  Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of the rub over hte veggies and toss again.

Pat the rest of the rub over the meat, place the meat on the vegetables,  and drizzle with remaining 1/4 C olive oil.  Pour in chicken broht.  Cover an dcook on high for 4-5 hours or low 8-10 hours, until pork and vegetables are tender. Cut meat into 1/2 inch thick slice and serve on platter with vegetables.

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5 thoughts on “Digging Sweet Potatoes

  1. Hey Sue, that sounds really yummy!! We’ve dug for regular yellow/white and purple potatoes at a local pumpkin farm but so far not sweet potatoes. We do enjoy having sweet potato fries a lot, though — slice and toss with olive oil and salt, roast for 20-30 minutes (depending on thickness) until soft… easy and yum!

  2. Another recipe for sweet potatoes. Cut them like french fries and coat with olive oil, salt (1/2 tsp), cumin (1/2 tsp), and ground red pepper (1/4 tsp).
    Bake on a cookie sheet for 20 min at 400 degrees. Yummy but may be a little spicy for your kids……..

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