We spent the morning working in the garden - the Poolboy with his saw and other "he man" machinery; my husband is currently building an outdoor bar/storage hut for our barbecue - and me with my gardening gloves and pink hat to shield me from the sun.
Yippee Kay Ay Mother Foodies!!
All in all, it was a perfect morning. We sipped fresh ground coffee with real cream while the sounds and smells of early summer surrounded us.
The cheerful chatter of birds, the comfort of newly toiled earth, fresh cut grass, and something unmistakeably hopeful drifted around on the morning summer breeze.
Our garden is coming along nicely and we're almost ready to begin thinning out the beets - which means it's just about time for one of my favourite foods ever - baby beets and beet tops.
As it is, I have to control myself from picking and eating at this point because the tender shoots of the beet tops are so delicious.
The best way I can describe them is that they taste like summer.
One of progresses lost treasures that you will never, ever be able to find in a box.
But don't worry, when the day comes I'll show you exactly what to do with these amazing little morsels.
In the meantime, though, all that weeding, hoeing, and hammering got us hungry and found us by mid afternoon at the grocery store contemplating what kind of feast we should conjure up for dinner.
Blame it on the sun, or maybe even the pink hat - we were in the mood for something rib stickin!
So we picked up a couple racks of pork ribs, and the fixins for my famous potato salad.
I've been making this particular recipe for ribs and potato salad for years now and have become famous among our circle of friends with it.
In honour of that, and because we had so much food, we decided it would be a great to share our abundance - so we phoned some friends and "VOILA!" - instant dinner party.
Now, as in my youth, unplanned, impromtu gatherings and get togethers are always the most fun.
If you like ribs and want to try a recipe that never fails - give this one a go!
Like many of my dishes, it's slow food and in order to get your meat just right, it's gonna take a little extra love and time to create this particular magic...
The Pink Cowgirl's Honkey Tonk Ribs!
For printable recipe click HERE
Cut your ribs into chunks and put into a large saucepan with one quatered onion, two stalks celery, one carrot, three cloves garlic, one tbsp salt, one bay leaf. Cover with water, bring to a boil and then simmer for an hour.
Remove the ribs from the water and then set aside to cool.
Meanwhile... The Secret's in the Sauce!
* 2 cups ketchup
* 2 cups tomato sauce
* 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
* 1 1/4 cups balsamic vinegar
* 4 teaspoons hickory-flavored liquid smoke
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
* 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
* 1 teaspoon paprika
* 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
In a large saucepan over medium heat, mix together the ketchup, tomato sauce, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, liquid smoke and butter. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, paprika, celery salt, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper.
Reduce heat to low, and simmer for up to 20 minutes. For thicker sauce, simmer longer.
Slather ribs in barbecue sauce, cover and refrigerate until ready to grill. You can leave these overnight, they just get better and better sitting in that sauce!
Remove from fridge an hour before grilling and bring to room temperature.
Grill on medium high basting frequently until they look like the picture above or pop into the oven under the broiler - just watch them because they'll brown quickly!
Allow ribs to rest for 5 to 10 minutes and serve. Wonderful when served with a nice cold beer and my all time favourite recipe for potato salad!
Cowgirl Potato Salad
For printable recipe click HERE
- 2 pounds russet potatoes
- 1 cup miracle whip
- 2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
- 2 tsps minced dill pickle
- 2 teaspoons white sugar
- 2 chopped green onions
- 2 teaspoons prepared mustard
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon minced celery
- 1 teaspoon minced pimento
- 1/2 teaspoon shredded carrot
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- salt to taste
- 3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, sugar, onion, mustard, vinegar, celery, pimentos, carrot, parsley, pepper and salt. When potatoes are cooked, dump them in with the mayo. Mix well, add chopped eggs. Chill and serve.
While the ribs and potato salad did their thing, I went hunting around my treasure cupboard for just the right table setting.
I'm addicted to thrift stores, garage sales, Value Village, and even the Dollar Store and am constantly on the look out for interesting items with which to create table scapes.
Being that our cowpoke dinner was going to be rustic, I decided to experience "metamorphasis" and set the table in a part of the yard we haven't landscaped yet. Proving yet again, that magic can be found anywhere!
I chose a rustic looking red and green checkered table cloth purchased last summer at Value Village and then mixed it up by using some funky dishware I had kicking around from a shopping spree at Dollarama.
To continue with the rustic charm, I put out canning jars to use as glasses and tied our cutlery together with chive and thyme from my garden.
We ate, and ate until daylight became dusk
In between was a lot of laughter, more than a little red wine, and one of my favourite, easy summer desserts...
Ice Cream Sundaes!
Let me know if you try any of these recipes and feel free to ask questions if you're unsure about something.
Friends, family, and food.
Throw in a little laughter and a whole lot of love and what you have is everyday magic...
The Kitchen Witch
(Stay tuned next week for a DIVINE recipe for lemon pepper marinated ribs)