kruizing with kikukat

Monday, July 14, 2014

BBQ Country Ribs

Kikukat and family would like to extend their condolences to the Lewis family of Fredericksburg, VA.  On Saturday, their eldest child William was fatally shot in Chicago while waiting for a bus.  Although Chicago police believe the shooting to be gang-related, they believe Wil was not the intended target.  Wil was a talented young man with a bright future.  He was only twenty-eight.

Although I've never met Wil, his dad, Joseph, is a friend.  Joe's day job is principal of Stafford Senior High School in Fredericksburg, VA.  Joe's other profession is a writer.  A few years ago, I was honored when Joe asked me to read his manuscript Stolen Lives, prior to meeting with his publishers.

Joe is also a blogger.  His most recent post, With Sadness (Sunday, July 13, 2014), on his blog, Simple Thoughts from a Complicated Mind, Sort of. . ., is so heartwrenching for me to read.  The agony a parent goes through when dealing with the death of a child is beyond comprehension.  Mr. Dependable once said, "A parent should not bury a child."  He has said a lot of stupid ass things, but that was something he actually got right.

The Ds have been traveling for over a week, and I miss them terribly.  Everytime I see their messy rooms I want to scream, but I still miss them.  I want to hug them real tight and tell them how much I love them.  I think Desi and Kennie miss them too.  At least once a day I'll see one of the kats walking out from the Ds wing [of the house].  Reading Joe's blog made me miss them even more. 

As much as I miss them, I can't waste time fretting over their absence, for my vacation clock is ticking.  This is the last Monday of summer vacation for me.  I need to make the most of my time left.  Most teachers officially begin the school year on July 28, but I begin on the 21st.  I feel like I've been working all summer, and lately, even if I'm not doing esy, I'm extra busy!

Last week was a busy week.  I was nice to The Help and bought him a tray of botamochi/ohagi.  After watching the Kenmin Show, all The Help could talk about was ohagi.  My friend's mom makes the best ohagi so I ordered some for The Help, his parents, and my parents.  That kept him quiet for a while.

I went in to work on Wednesday to meet and greet a new teacher.  I offered to help him get his keys and show him around.  He is new to the school but not new to teaching.  I hope he will enjoy his new home!  Actually, he should.  He is leaving a toxic situation, which will not get better unless. . .

I also enjoyed a nice lunch with Brucie, who just returned from a magical trip to England and Switzerland.  Sounds like he had a lot of fun, and thanks to him, I now have another three mugs for my collection.  Brucie is who I wanna be when I grow up!

After about a year, The Help and I made an attempt to make it back to Takenoko Sushi for lunch.  When I called a few weeks ago for a dinner reservation, they told me their next dinner opening was in August!  I couldn't wait that long.  Luckily, the wait for a lunch seating was only a week.  At the last moment, The Help gave up his seat for my parents (I was able to secure another seat), so I ended up going with them instead.  Like Sushi Sasabune, the best part of Takenoko is the omakase (chef's choice).  But unlike Sushi Sasabune, where you think you might get scoldings (or kicked out) for eating something incorrectly, Takenoko is more laid back.  Kikukat Dad tried uni (sea urchin) for the first time.  He said The Help can have his share from now on.  He said there was something stinky about it.  Kikukat Mom is not an adventurous eater, so she stuck with the basics:  unagi (eel), hamachi (yellowtail), toro (fatty tuna), and salmon.  Boring.  Kikukat Dad has a habit of inhaling his food, so we were outta there within 30 minutes.  I soooo could not savor and enjoy every bite.

This past Friday, The Help and I went to Kona to take his car to the doctor.  We had most of the morning to leisurely walk around Kona and explore.  I hate "exploring", as I've come to associate it as a term The Help uses when he is lost.  Unlike The Help, my sense of adventure is nil.  I don't like "exploring".  I like "finding".

We had lunch at The Fish Hopper, a restaurant near the Kailua pier.  Both of us had salads.  The Help had the Cobb salad, and I had the chicken macadamia salad.  I wasn't expecting much, but both of us thoroughly enjoyed our meals.  The Asian dressing on the chicken salad was perfect.  I did ask for it without papaya.  I should've asked them to hold the red onions too, but the onions were easy enough to pick out.  The Help's salad looked like it was full of bacon.  If it wasn't for the bleu cheese, I might have thought about ordering that too.

After my salad, I was looking forward to a hearty dinner (we made it home from Kona in the afternoon).  I was tired so it was a good thing we had lotsa leftovers in the fridge.  The Help came across a good sale Safeway was having on country ribs.  I generally don't buy country ribs (country style spareribs) because I tend to like my pork extra fatty (like bacon & hocks).  I suppose The Help couldn't help himself.  Nearly 8 lbs of country ribs cost under $20 with the Safeway club card.  8 lbs is a whole lotta meat, so I baked it with an Asian barbecue sauce because I knew the leftovers would be good.

BTW, the sauteed greens to the side of the meat in the top pic and the pic below is such a simple accompaniment to throw together. . .shredded savoy cabbage, ham slivers, and salt.  Saute until cabbage shows slight browning.  Place in a serving bowl and top with a generous sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

click on recipe title for printable recipe

     4 lbs country style spareribs
     1/2 c shoyu
     1/2 c oyster sauce
     3/4 c ketchup
     3/4 c sugar
     1 tbsp guava jelly or orange marmalade
     1/8 tsp 5-spice
     1/2" piece of ginger, grated

Boil country ribs for 1 hour.  Drain well and wash off scum.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place ribs in large baking pan.  Combine remaining ingredients.  Pour over ribs.  Bake 1 1/2 hours.  Remove from pan and slice across the grain to serve.

R.I.P. William Lewis. . .may your light continue to shine.

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