The Fruits of Our Labor

We got back from our suburban family wedding travel close to noon today, so we’ve had a little weekend left to spare. We set up my sewing table that the in-laws refinished (complete with patterned paper drawer inserts and new drawer pulls!) and installed some fabric blinds that my mother in law sewed to replace the crappy broken plastic ones in our bedroom (picture updates of those to come; I’m all camera’d out for today). Then we threw some Milwaukee Iron burgers on the grill and had those for lunch on the deck with potato salad and baked beans. So a low-key 4th of July thus far. We also scored a deal on charcoal on our way back to the city – Home Depot has a 2 for $9 special this week on Kingsford charcoal, so we got four bags since husband’s mom drove us back to the city. That’ll last us maybe a month, we’re hoping.

What I really wanted to share with you all though is the fact that our veggie plants are finally fruiting! Check out some of these tomatoes –

And both the sweet and hot peppers have started to develop as well –

And our swiss chard is putting out new growth after our first harvest. I’m looking forward to harvesting another batch at the end of this week.

Everything is looking really good. We’ve got to keep close watch now since that squirrel is still lurking about, but I’m ready to spring into action with impromptu cages if that’s what it takes.

As for the rest of our holiday weekend – we’ll probably do something low-key for dinner, like pasta salad or white bean and broccoli pasta since we did our big grilling for lunch today. I’m going to get a pie crust mixed up shortly to chill in the fridge and use the last little bit of the frozen berries in the freezer to make a pie for dessert – high time to make way for this year’s bounty. And later, just relaxing on the back deck with our books and good conversation likely. Maybe a card or board game too.

I hope everyone has enjoyed the 4th of July weekend like we have (and maybe snuck in a couple of projects too). Happy 4th!

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.