The ways we play

I not only expect my children to be perfectly well-behaved, keep their nails trimmed and not pick their noses, I also expect them to kowtow to me five times a day.

Okay, so not really. They did this all on their own. They’re really into mother worship. It’s the cool thing in this house.

Okay, so that’s not true either.

They were just messing around, doing their thing which consists of pulling out the off-limits dresses, sneaking the boots from my closet, digging through Miss Beccaboo’s makeup collection, and patching it all together with some dress-up clothes.

The Queen Motif has been central to their imaginative play. Probably because I treat them like slaves.

Don’t over-analyze this, okay? Thanks.

In other news, I think I’m way over my head.

I got the brilliant idea to make ribs this weekend. I’ve never made ribs before (not counting short ribs) but how hard could it be, right?

Well, turns out ribs are a little trickier than I thought. After clicking my way around the web, I lost a good deal of my cocky I-can-do-anything attitude, but still, I called the meat shop and got prices, gasped a little, steeled my resolve, and planned a trip to town. These ribs were no longer a take-it-or-leave-it idea, they were essential. I had to learn how to do ribs. My mental and emotional stability depended upon it. End of story.

Except that it wasn’t. At the butcher shop I asked for a whole rack of ribs. “Do you want them cut in half, or the whole rack?”

“The whole rack,” I said confidently.

Soon a beefy man came forth from the back room where buzz saws whined and knives thunked, bearing high my (hold the load!) massive rack of ribs. I gulped and watched wordlessly as the man wrangled them up onto the scales to weigh them. Slowly it dawned on me that they would fill my entire oven. Come to think of it, I didn’t even have a baking pan large enough to hold them!

“Um, could you maybe cut them in half after all?” I asked timidly, my previous bluster squashed flat under all that pork.

Now the cut-in-half ribs are sitting in the cooler out on the porch. I didn’t realize I would need to clear out half of my refrigerator to make space for some barrel-chested pig.

My plan (unless one of you convinces me otherwise) is to coat the ribs with a dry rub mix, bake them at 300 degrees for two-and-a-half hours and then finish them off on the grill. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. (Lots of other yummies are in the works: this morning’s shopping cart held seasoned rice vinegar, serrano chilis, tomatillos, avocados, limes, cabbages, tomatoes, lemon curd, and sour cream. When I got home I called my mom to tell her to stop eating now.)

The pork isn’t the only new thing I’m trying these days. I’m taking on another endeavor, one that I am most excited about (and non food related). I’ll give you three guess (if you already know, please hold your tongue).

About one year ago: Asparagus, Goat Cheese, and Lemon Pasta and De Butchery, in which we chop the heads off our chickens and put them in the freezer, and The Tip of the Strawberry Iceberg.


  • Shirley

    We found it helpful, ages ago, to read the ribs recipe in the New York Times Cookbook. I think we boiled them first and then grilled them with a great sauce. Quite good, as I recall.

    I am quite in favor of Queen Mothers.

  • Overfed Annie

    I just realized you posted this on Friday, so I can't help you out on the ribs front – but am very anxious to hear how they turned out!

    In the meantime, I hope you got your wee slaves to help you out with the clean up 😉

    And, um, new endeavor? Do tell!

  • Karen

    ribs schmibs! I want to know what the other non food related endeavor is! Are you going to back to school for something? Are you going to build a castle in your backyard so that you can actually be a real live queen? Are you going to write a book?

  • Margo

    heeee – I could just picture you at the butcher shop! I've made ribs before, but I guess they were short ribs? And what the heck is the difference? I know I followed a recipe very carefully and they were fine, but obviously didn't make a deep impression on me.

    I wish I could guess at your new endeavor – I'm terrible at guessing, so I'll make you laugh instead: you're pregnant? Oh wait, that's food-related.

  • Anonymous

    Long and slow baby. That's my experience. I've made good ribs and I've made bad ribs. The bad ones had to go back into the oven for a future meal. Oh and thank goodness you had them cut. If there's an ungainly meal it's uncut ribs.

    Aunt V.

  • Sarah

    Please let me know how it works out. We got two pigs last year and have LOTS of spare ribs languishing in the freezer.

    I love the dress-up photos as my kids are also heavily into dress-up – MB included. What is it with the princess and slave thing – that's all my kids do too!

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