Before our current spate of wet, blustery weather descended upon us, we had some really nice days. We made the most of them by grilling.
One day we did shrimp. Jon did them his favorite way, grilled with a bit of sugar and tossed with warm lemon-garlic butter over the coals. We had some leftover asparagus from the previous day’s cooking class, so I warmed it up and stirred it into instant couscous, which made a perfect bed for the shrimp in its buttery sauce. Mint juleps accompanied this dinner. It felt like summer.
The following day we had the whole afternoon at home, after doing some shopping up at the Bellingham farmer’s market, so Jon barbecued a rack of pork spare ribs. These weren’t from our own pig, unfortunately, as the ribs in our freezer seem to be rolled up into a log and we didn’t have time to thaw them – we picked up a slab at Haggen instead. But we had no complaints about the final product, after rubbing the ribs with a sweet hot spice blend and slow-barbecuing them in mesquite smoke for two hours. We’re still learning our way around this process, but this batch was very encouraging.
While we waited for the ribs we sat out on the patio in the sweet smoke, ate Sun Chips, and drank bourbon sours. I took the opportunity to go through my seeds and throw out pretty much everything. Ten-year-old lettuce seeds are not really that useful.
When the ribs came off the grill Jon wrapped them in foil and newspapers and let them rest. When he sliced them up we were delighted to see a bit of a real smoke ring! A sight for sore eyes, that.
Last time we visited Kansas City we picked up a bottle of Jack Stack spicy BBQ sauce, and before we served the ribs we heated this sauce up and brushed it on. It’s a good one, hot and rich.
To go with the ribs I threw together a slaw with napa cabbage from the farmer’s market, a carrot, some fresh local radishes and baby turnips. For the dressing I scraped out the remainder of a sour cream container and the mayo jar, added sherry vinegar and a handful of fresh chive stems and blossoms, and stirred it all up. After blending for an hour, it became one of the best slaws I’ve ever made. Too bad I have no idea of how much of anything went into it.
It was a multiple-paper-towel kind of meal. And really, really good.