Sunday, June 30, 2013

Feast-testing for the Fourth of July!

Before I tell you about what's going on next week to celebrate the
fourth of July, let me tell you what happened this weekend...
Turns out that I was able to make excellent use
of that new television we added to the kitchen...
Because on Friday I spent sixteen and a half hours creating cookies there!
But not just any cookies... You see, a friend and coworker at the Dream-job
asked if I would donate cookies to the Bike MS bake sale coming up soon!
Normally I wouldn't think twice about helping a friend or supporting
such a worthy cause. However, normally I'm not in a leg cast either...
Which unfortunately is where I find myself after consulting a doctor about
pain in my heel and ankle. Long story short, the MRI showed a tear in the
muscle around my heel and a tear inside my Achilles tendon. The best news
is that surgery is not indicated. The bad news is I'm in this hot, heavy and
unattractive cast for at least six weeks and perhaps as long as nine weeks!
Nevertheless, the bake sale must go on. So I enlisted the help of an amazing
friend and fellow cookie enthusiast and together we mixed, rolled and cut out
cookies from six o'clock Friday morning until noon when she had to leave. After
a short rest and a sandwich, I continued alone until 10:30PM. I didn't get as far
as I might have sans cast or  had my friend been able to stay; however, the final
cookie count was 224 of the 400 cookies I promised to donate. Not bad for one
day of work. By the way, how great are these bike cut-outs? They are possible
because donated their Bicycle cutter to this project, which
is item #3142. Now if you popped over to look at it, you may have noticed the
bike is facing the other way. But I wanted my bike for the Bike MS bake sale to
roll left, so I asked Beth if her beloved husband and coppersmith would kindly
tweak his design to accommodate me. And, as usual, Ray came through perfectly!
Although the Bike MS bake sale is still a few weeks away, I had to get started
on this project right away. Fortunately Bridget's recipe freezes very well
so these cookies will wait until I'm able to get back to them. Why the rush?
Well, it's because our Ranger is on his way home next week! And, not only
will he be with us for the holiday, he's also bringing his Texas-girl home!
We cannot wait to meet her. Although his visits home are always somewhat
bittersweet because they always precede a deployment, I prefer to focus on
the having him home part. Which brings me to what I've been up to today!
I am testing this recipe creation of mine for dark brown sugar, honey and
bourbon spareribs. If it turns out well I'll add them to the feast I planned
for next week's fourth of July celebration! First, I rubbed paprika, crushed
garlic and salt all over slabs of pork ribs. Then I let them rest overnight!
This morning I added fresh cracked black pepper, a little sea salt
and a generous amount of Dixie Crystal's dark brown sugar!
Drizzled with sweet, golden honey...
And splashed with American bourbon. I chose Woodford Reserve
Just because I don't enjoy drinking alcohol doesn't mean I can't cook with it!
Now, I could have thrown my ribs into my crockpot or into one of my LeCreuset
dutch ovens but I decided to let these ribs pan-roast low and slow in the oven...
While we roasted low and slow in the pool all afternoon!
It was a beautiful day to lounge in the pool and to enjoy the gardens!
The hydrangeas are in full bloom!
I couldn't resist bringing a few into the kitchen with me!
Oh, look there... My ribs are done!
To finish them off, I transferred them to the
grill with just a touch more dark brown sugar!
Because a little extra brown sugar never hurts!
While my ribs finished, I enjoyed the blooming view on the deck!
It's obviously summer time in North Carolina!
It's also rib-time!
I can already tell these ribs will be on the menu next week! Also,
my rub and honey, dark brown sugar and bourbon concoction
might just make it into my baked chicken plans as well!
What about your Independence Day menu...
What will be on your plate?


  1. Well, I'd have to say that I may just add those ribs to my roasted potato salad! I'm hoping to find some Iowa sweet corn to top it off, with s'mores over the fire pit for dessert. Happy Fourth, Janet! Hooah!

  2. I am so sorry to see that you're in a cast. What a bad time to be in one too. Hopefully it's not a fiberglass cast that prevents you from enjoying your pool:) Wishing you the speediest recovery. BTW...those ribs lost AMAZING. Good luck with all those cookies. I wish I were in a position to assist you but the distance and my physical situation prevent that.

  3. Hey Janet, So sorry to see you're wearing the old boot! ARGH! I had a broken foot last year and had to hobble around in one of those dang things for ten weeks! The BIG difference being I didn't have 500 cookies to make!

    I love the Bicycle cutter! How awesome is it that Beth & Ray created a reverse version for you!
    Can't wait to see the finished cookies!

    YOUR RIBS LOOK AMAZING!All our favorite ingredients too! Think I'm just gonna have to give this recipe a try!

    Up yonder in Maryland the 4th of July always means a steamed crab feast, with pasta, pea, red onion and bacon salad, fresh watermelon, grilled corn on the cob and Maryland Burger Cookies (a half moon white cookie frosted on the bottom with thick chocolate icing!)

    Enjoy every minute with your Ranger and his gal, and thank him from the bottom of our hearts for his service to our country!

  4. Hey Janet,
    Just wanted to let you know how much I love your blog. I read alot of differnt blogs, but yours is my favorite. I always get excited when I see you have posted something new.

    I also, make cookies and I wondered how you get all of yours so level? Some of mine are and some arn't.

    Thank you,

  5. Your ribs look so yummy. But your leg not so good looking in that contraption. Praying it gets better soon. Hope you have a great 4th of July. I'll be celebrating with my oldest daughter as it's her Birthday. Love the hydrangeas. Love the container on the wall with the hydrangea head in it. I just love your home and garden period. Thanks for sharing your pictures with us.


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