Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Fall may be just around the corner....

....but we're not done with summer yet!

Although we made good use of the chilly weather on Saturday with some chili, we are not ready to give ourselves completely over to fall. Our Labor day menu revolved much more around summer, with berries and barbecued ribs to remind us that it is still technically summer.

The morning began with our favorite buckwheat pancakes from Wade's Mill, complete with blueberries which are hard to find now, save for Sam's Club's giant container. The berries were in pretty good condition, but definitely on the tart side, perfect for pancakes. We served these with real maple syrup and some leftover berry syrup from Rachael Ray's Pain Perdu. See, still using up those odds and ends in the freezer.

DH was in charge of the ribs. He doesn't cook often, but when he does, he really gets into it. He can spend hours doing research and hours making sure everything is just so. I mostly try to stay out of it, unless he asks for my opinion - or I see something that I REALLY think won't work.

Since cooking the ribs was mostly his thing, I don't have a detailed account of how he cooks them, but I do know that he brined them overnight. Then he used a rub on them and put them on the grill to bake in an aluminum pan for a short period of time. He then put them directly on the grill, finishing them off with a Smoked Chile Barbecue Sauce.

How did they taste? Now that's something I can relate to you. Although not falling off the bone as he always hopes they will be, they were nicely tender and the sauce is awesome. With cloves and allspice in the sauce, it definitely stands out from most other BBQ sauces we've tried and I think it's one of the best. The sauce is not overly spicy, but the spice does start to sneak up on you and for us, it was just right - not enough to detract from the lucious flavors of the sauce, but just enough to give it a nice kick.

We served the ribs with coleslaw - a tangy vinegar version - and roasted sweet potatoes. The weather was nice enough to cooperate (it hasn't been doing that much lately), allowing us to enjoy our summery meal al fresco.

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