Marinated Barbecued Ribs

I love grilling and I love pork – it’s the perfect marriage of goodness. We picked up some pork ribs at the market yesterday to throw on the grill, and husband came across a delicious-sounding marinade for them at Allrecipes. We modified the ingredients slightly for what we had on hand, and reduced the quantities since we only had one pound of ribs, and this is what we came up with –

1/2 cup ketchup

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/8 cup soy sauce

1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/8 cup whiskey

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon chile powder

a few generous grinds of pepper

We combined everything in a large zip top bag and let the ribs marinate for about three hours in the fridge, flipping the bag over once during that time. Then we grilled them! We brought the leftover marinade to a boil on the stovetop and then used it to baste the ribs as they cooked.

They were so good, they might put my home made barbecue sauce out of business… they don’t need a dipping sauce at all. The flavor penetrates all the way through the meat and the outsides caramelize nicely. I served my potato salad and jalapeno corn bread alongside, and it was a great Saturday night dinner on the deck.


Sun Tea & Other Good Things

Make tea while the sun shines! And that’s exactly what I’m doing today since for once there is not a single cloud in the sky. And it’s hot – at least in the upper eighties. Hello summer? We had pancakes out on the deck for breakfast this morning and as soon as I was done clearing the table I whipped up some tea and put it down on the patio to perk away all day –

We also finally got the deck “finished” (yeah I know – I keep saying that). We moved the etagere to accomodate our new chairs and create more of a defined space from the nasty neighbors, and finally hung up the lanterns –

And here’s the view from behing the etagere, showing off our new chairs –

You’ll notice most of the plants are downstairs on the patio soaking up the sun while we’ve got some. We bring them back up at night (got to keep the squirrels on their toes!). You’ll also notice some pillows – I stitched those up this morning, actually. Here’s a close up –

I used some vinyl tablecloth fabric that I’ve had lying around for a few years now, that I bought with exactly this purpose in mind. Finally I get around to making them! They’re nothing fancy – I just eyeballed the dimensions I wanted, sewed them inside out and once I righted them, stuffed them with with batting I had on hand. I did take a shortcut here – instead of inserting a zipper, which I am well-versed in doing at this point, and instead of sewing the stuffing seam shut (which makes me cry every time as I struggle to get a nice closure seam) I closed it with stick-on velco. I know, I know – but no tears for me today and now I can easily replace the stuffing as they get flattened. I love this fabric for outdoor use because it can stand up to a little moisture and can easily be wiped clean. I have a little bit of it left, and I’m thinking of using it to replace the blue fabric in the white windowbox, but not today. A project for another weekend.

Oh, and just because we happened to snap a picture of it, here’s our new hops plant and the planter that my husband repaired –

I’m super pleased with how the space turned out. I’m looking forward to grilling out later and relaxing back there as a matter of fact. We’re going to be grilling steak, shrimp, onion, mushroom and pepper kabobs for dinner tonight, served with dolma and herbed couscous.

And of course, I can’t let a day like today go by without a couple of food projects happening in the background – I’ve got a double batch of barbecue sauce simmering on the stove, and I liked the jalapeno cornbread so much I’ve decided to make a variation of it for breakfasts this week – jalapeno-bacon corn muffins with sun dried tomatoes. But I won’t do that until after dark and it cools down a bit. And since the duck wasn’t defrosted enough to work with yesterday while it was cool and the weather was awful, I’ve got to do it today. In an hour or so, I’ve got to sharpen my knife and take it down. The breasts will go in the freezer for another meal. Then I’m going to render the skin and fat so that I can confit the legs and thighs. And then the carcass and wings will go in a stockpot to simmer into stock. It’s a hot day for all this kitchen work, but sometimes nature doesn’t cooperate. And fortunately, it’s not stuff I really have to stand over.

And I’m fitting in some relaxation and reading and internetting as usual… all in all, an excellent three day weekend. Hope yours is just as great!

Surprise! It’s Raining… Again!

I won’t pretend that I’m not getting exasperated by all this rain. I like a good spring thunderstorm as much as the next person. Just this morning, we enjoyed some time sitting on the deck watching the fog coat the landscape while we waited for breakfast to finish cooking. It was a little cool, but lovely nonetheless. And we were hopeful the day would improve into the “promised” sunshine and high seventies.

Alas, it did not. Breakfast was excellent – I made crockpot pulled pork (I let it go overnight so it would be ready in the morning – useful, but a bit odd to have the smell of pulled pork waking you up in the morning) with my home made barbecue sauce, jalapeno corn bread, roasted breakfast potatoes and scrambled eggs. Quite a spread, and the highlight of the day thus far. After we finished eating, we decided to head over to the thrift shops a few neighborhoods away to donate a few bags of items and see what we could find. And that’s where the day went downhill. We got caught in a torrential downpour, and it’s been raining ever since. We cut our trip short and hustled home, but by the time we made it back we were soaked.

Before we could even dry off at home though, we had to attend to the plants. We dragged the four pots of tomatoes and cabbages under the deck overhang next to the stairs to prevent them getting too water logged and damaged by the wind and any flying debris. Moving these pots constantly to protect them from all this errant weather really makes we want to invest in some wheeled plant coasters, like these –

 We also took down the hanging baskets of peppers and moved most of the pots to the interior wall of the deck. Fortunately, we haven’t suffered any damage yet. No broken stems or soil washouts. The only planter that’s still exposed to the elements is the windowbox with the chard, thyme and oregano in it, but’s secured pretty well and has excellent drainage, so I think it’ll be okay. I’m going to check it in a few hours to be on the safe side though. The weather report says we could have 80 mph wind gusts and hail with this storm, but hopefully not.

So, no deck pictures or sun tea today. Time to start prepping my fabrics for the baby quilt instead. 🙂