Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Summer is Here and the Grilling is Easy.

On June 20th, the Summer Solstice marked the beginning of summer, and yet the shortening of daylight.  While it is the longest time of sunlight for the year; the very next day the sun’s rays begin to shorten upon the Northern Hemisphere.  In olden cultures, and even in many today, this Solstice is a day of celebration; the Earth’s fertility is in full swing.

Summertime is also when schools are closed; children are free from the tortures within classrooms dominated by whip wielding teachers.  Well, that’s how they imagine school to be while the teachers see it just the other way round.  Summer is freedom; family vacations to new and exciting places; reunions in mountain or lakeside resorts; casting responsibility aside for days or weeks.   Best of all, outdoor cooking!!!  Grills, whether gas, electric, wood or charcoal are fired up; Smokers prepped with soaked, aroma filled wood.  Meats of all kinds, poultry, seafood; all rubbed and/or marinated to bring flavors to the wildest taste buds. 

Even vegetables are given special treatment to tempt the pickiest of eaters.  Try a nice side dish of one pound sliced mushrooms seasoned with sea salt, ground black pepper and garlic; equal amounts of olive oil and butter; slowly sautéed over low heat for a half hour.

Our grill has been pulled out from winter storage, cleaned, propane tank fully filled.  Inside the refrigerator, tightly wrapped in a double layer of heavy duty aluminum foil are…pork ribs.  Each meaty morsel has been rubbed with my All Purpose Rub; for 15 hours they marinate in the juices draw out by brown sugar and a selection of spices.  The grill will be then heated to 250F; the entire aluminum package laid upon the top rack for three hours.  Fat melting into meat; self-basting, self-tenderizing, slowly caramelizing.  Carefully unwrapped from the foil cocoon; the grill’s heat turned up to 400F; the ribs will go onto the lower rack for searing and glazing; a crisp char around the edges.  The meat tender, juicy, with just the right amount of give from the bone; sweet, savory, spicy all come together for delicious nirvana.

Remove excess fat from underside.

One cup of rub mixture for underside.

One cup of rub mixture for topside.

Massage the rub into the meat.

Double layer of heavy duty foil; fold ends over first.

Wrap long ends over each other; refrigerate for 15 hours.

Entire package on top rack; 250F for three hours.

Remove from foil.

Increase heat to 400F; sear both sides.

Perhaps, after a well-deserved nap, we’ll go on up to Loyd’s Lake for a cool swim; that is if we can get off the couch.   Ah yes, summer is here and it’s time for life to be a bit easy.
All Purpose Rub for Smoking and Grilling


2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp. each sea salt, ground black pepper, ground ginger
¼ tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. each paprika, onion powder, garlic powder


In medium bowl, mix all ingredients together thoroughly. Rub onto all sides of meat or poultry; refrigerate overnight. Smoke or grill.

Note: This is enough to cover both sides of a 3 to 4 pound rack of ribs.


Bonus Recipe!

All Purpose Barbeque Sauce


2 Tbsp. peanut oil (if not available, use canola oil)
1 small onion, diced
1Tbsp minced garlic
1 ½ cups crushed tomatoes
1 (6oz) can tomato paste
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup water
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. ground horseradish
¼ tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp. each salt and ground black pepper
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup dark molasses


In a large saucepan, heat oil on medium-high heat; sauté onion and garlic till softened; be careful not to burn garlic. Add in remaining ingredients, stir together and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes; sauce will thicken. Stir occasionally to keep from sticking or burning. If sauce thickens too much, stir in a tablespoon of water until desired consistency is achieved.

Use warm or cold; store in refrigerator in airtight container; will keep for up to 2 weeks.

Makes 2 cups.
Mary Cokenour

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