I was in the mood, the mood to cook and for once, I knew exactly what I wanted to cook.
I love beautiful grocery stores. The merchandising, the colors, the displays …. what I do not enjoy is HAVING to grocery shop.
Unless I am very clear on what I am going to be cooking and know exactly what I need, I somehow end up going home with another bottle of amazing infused vinegar, $30 worth of magazines and nothing that I could make a meal out of.
Anyway, so it was Labor Day weekend and I wanted to cook barbecue baby back ribs. You know the melt in your mouth, fall off the bone extra saucy kind. I was looking forward to having a relaxing evening. Just me and my baby backs. The cafe had been in overdrive, as always, on a 3 day weekend and I knew exactly what time I needed to leave to run to the store, get what I needed, get ribs cooking to eat by a certain time.
I arrived at the store. Grabbed a few things in produce and head to the meat counter. I see the baby backs laying there and ask one of the butchers for 4 pounds of them. She says something I do not understand and heads off. Another butcher comes by and asks if I need help and I repeat that I needed 4 pounds of baby back ribs. About this time the 1st butcher comes back and says that what they have in the case is all they have.
I ask how many pounds is that and they say it looks like almost 2 pounds and that is when it happens….
The moment, the moment when I behave like one of them… an entitled, spoiled consumer. Now, being in the restaurant business, a service industry, I have many opportunities to witness the human behavior of others that at times can be quite shocking. The little things that send people over the edge. The mean-spirited attacks on other human beings working to provide a service to them or even better the social media attacks that are so hurtful.
I proceeded to tell them that I could not believe on Labor Day weekend, a store of their size in this area was out of baby back ribs. That I owned a restaurant and you should see all the eggs we ordered for the 3 day weekend because we knew the volume of customers that would be ordering eggs.
All of the sudden I stopped mid-sentence, realized I was standing in front of a full meat counter of other choices and I apologized. I told her I was so sorry and that my behavior was absolutely ridiculous. She laughed and said she totally understood. I told them I would happily take whatever they had and be on my way.
Since that incident, I have thought a lot about how much I expect. Expect from myself and from others. How do we set reasonable expectations? More on that in another post.
For now, here is my very easy, yummy baby back rib recipe.
Fall Off the Bone Baby Back Ribs
- 4 lbs pork ribs
- 3⁄4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon hickory smoke salt
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)
- 2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Peel off the tough membrane on the bony side of the ribs.
- Mix together the sugar and spices to make the rub. If you have a favorite rub, you can skip the sugar and spice and just use 2 tablespoons of the rub.
- Apply rub to all sides of the ribs
- Lay ribs on two layers of foil, shiny side out and meaty side down.
- Lay two layers of foil on top of ribs and roll and crimp edges tightly, edges facing up to seal.
- Place on baking sheet and bake for 2-2 1/2 hours or until meat is starting to shrivel away from the ends of the bone.
- Remove from oven.
- Heat broiler.
- Cut ribs into serving sized portions of 2 or 3 ribs.
- Arrange on broiler pan, bony side up.
- Brush on sauce.
- Broil for 1 or 2 minutes until sauce is cooked on and bubbly.
- Repeat on other side.