Scene: Bedroom, late afternoon/evening. Lump under the covers, vaguely human-looking, obviously a night-shifter. Somewhere, a phone rings:
Me: (grunt) . . . H’lo.
Wife: Hi, Sweetie. Time to wake up. It’s 4:15.
Me: ‘m up, ‘m up. Where ya at?
Wife: We’re at my parents’ house. We’ve been invited for dinner and I’m just seeing if you’re ready to cook.
Me: I can be ready. What’m I supposed to cook?
Wife: Well, since you were talking about trying ribs, we planned on having you cook those. Mom bought 2 racks of . . . ( Rest lost in crash of phone hitting floor.)
The race was on. The challenge? Cook my first baby-backs, do it reasonably well, and do it in time for 3 small children to eat and get to bed at a reasonable hour, all with no prep work done. Can I do it? I hurried to the in-laws’ house to see.
I started the process about 4:45pm with making a rub, peeling the membrane, and setting up the grill for indirect cooking (gas, sorry all you purists out there ). Once they were on, I mopped about every 20 minutes with a mix of apple juice, soy sauce, and white wine vinegar. Towards the end, I applied sauce and let it bake on as a glaze. They came off at 7:00pm. Total time: 2:15, with 1:45 actual cooking time.
Wife: Rob, I’m hungry. When’ll the ribs be done?
Mother-in-law: You can’t rush greatness.
Wife: I’m not rushing greatness. I’m rushing Rob. (How’s *that* for an ego-deflator? )
Overall, they came out pretty good. Could have been better, and I overcooked ‘em a little, but I heard no complaints. More than once I heard “Rob, these are good. Whatever you did, it worked.” They were moist, especially the middle ones, with a good flavor.
BTW, lights out for the kids was at 8:30. I made it.
Here they are, rubbed and ready to cook . . .
. . . and after cooking. I was looking for the ends to recede the 1/4 inch, but didn’t see it. It’s a good thing Karen got pushy.
My daughter, Gillian, enjoying a rib.
The wife, with our youngest. I guess Clarissa wishes she had teeth.
Rob - TX Sandman