Friday, July 31, 2009

Summer Rain and Summer Everything

We just wrapped up Emerald Rose's latest live CD titled "That Night in the Garden", which does a fine job of summing it all up. It's been a challenge physically as well, in that Arthur's wife had open-heart surgery and a dear friend of mine died of a series of heart attacks- culminating in yours truly leading the funeral in a Presbyterian church of all places. The title does as good a job as any describing our common touch-stone for the summer. Speaking of Summer, this is the time in our year when the "first fruits" come in- namely the peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers. Add to that the berries that have just finished producing and we have the bounty of Summer, and a harbinger of the Autumn to come. So, it's time to modify that old stand-by of ribs and fruit glaze to reflect the current season. Dinner tonight is a double-rack of ribs grilled with a glaze of black currant, red raspberry, strawberry, apricot (it's first harvest in California) and a bit of pineapple for zip (it's always pineapple season in Hawaii). Recipe to follow after I finish rambling...

On the jewelry design front, I'm preparing to make a series of Argentium silver pendants and earrings fashioned to remind the beholder of the moons of the Cosmos. They'll be individual creations, but not modeled after specific celestial bodies. They'll also be augmented with small gemstones, but they should most affordable when I'm done with them, especially in light of the fact they will all be unique. I'll post photos as I make progress....

Grilled Ribs with First Fruits Glaze

2 Racks Pork Spare Ribs (10lbs or so)
1 lb of the first fruits for your neck of the woods (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc)
2" section of ginger root, sliced (substitute 2 tbsp dried if no fresh available)
1 Hot red pepper
4 tbsp Soy sauce
2 Tbsp Honey

Preheat the grill to 300F, then puree the fruit, ginger, pepper, honey and soy sauce. Remember, you're not in the zone without something tasty to refresh your parched tongue, so while the glaze ingredients are getting acquainted do yourself a favor and take care of that little detail straight away. By now your grill should be hot enough, so toss the ribs on without glaze for 10 minutes, then brush just enough glaze to lightly coat the ribs. Close the grill up and forget about it for the next 20 minutes. Brush the glaze on every 20 minutes until they are done to your taste. I've given up posting cooking times as everyone has their personal opinion of "done": you're a grown-up with your own car keys and credit cards, and I know you'll be fine. For what it's worth, mine usually take around two hours... and the remainder of the glaze is just fine after 2 minutes in the microwave on its lowest setting. Makes a great dipping sauce.

This time I served a Bossa Nova Salad (my black bean salad with cucumber), but in keeping with the "First Fruits" motif I scavenged the garden for fresh green beans to add to the mix.

I'm not posting pics this time, because cooked ribs look pretty much the same no matter how you prepare them- unless you boil them. If you boil them you need to read this blog from the first post forward before you attempt to cook ribs again.

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