Usually on the Fourth of July, we have company: neighbors who come and watch the show with us from our deck, so we can all keep an eye on our houses and make sure nothing burns down. This year it was just the two of us, which was fine…except that we decided to experiment with dinner instead of making something tried-and-true. Don’t get me wrong, we had some good food – but we did learn a few things, both positive and negative. Dinner was slow-barbecued beef back ribs, red coleslaw with orange and buttermilk, cornbread, and ice cream to follow. Sounds good, no?
1. I like red cabbage coleslaw, but I do not like coleslaw made with orange juice and buttermilk. Why did I think I would? At least I didn’t put in the hazelnuts the recipe called for.
2. I have an oral allergy to raw hazelnuts. I think. It’s hard to think logically when your mouth is itching (I had tried one to see if it went with the coleslaw – it didn’t).
3. The ribs really didn’t need as much salt as the recipe called for. But our first slow-cooked (local, grass-fed) beef rib barbecue was still pretty successful – we shall have to try this one again. With less salt.
4. One rack of four ribs isn’t really enough meat for two people, especially when one of them is J. More next time.
5. We don’t like fresh home-made malt ice cream. We LOVE LOVE LOVE it. Especially with chopped Whoppers on top. David Lebovitz, you are a godlike being to us. I’ve been sneaking spoonfuls of this all week.
6. As promised by our wine people, this is a wonderful, balanced wine. But I was amazed by how heavy the bottle was – I thought it was still half full just before I poured the last spoonful.
7. And thankfully, the Joy of Cooking buttermilk cornbread recipe is always a winner, especially baked in a cast-iron skillet with plenty of butter. You can always count on cornbread.
Isn’t it nice to know there’s always something new to learn?