As a kid, well really most of my life, I’ve loved lying in the sun. Balmy summer days I would lather myself up with suntan lotion, curl up like a big cat on a chaise lounge and allow the glorious warmth of the summer sun to transform my skin from pale English alabaster to a lovely golden brown. This, I have to admit looking back, was not the wisest plan. Most of my relatives are fair-skinned, blue eyed beings some so pale they come close to igniting if over exposed to the suns rays. My mother can endure about ten minutes of summer sun before her face looks like she’s been bobbing for French fries. At least I tanned, but at what cost? All the blissful years spent floating on my raft in the pool or water skiing on the Colorado River have finally submitted their bill and for the fourth time I’ve had a pre-cancer removed from my face. This one creating a huge blister appearing as though an extra from Alien 3 climbed up on my cheek and attached itself to my skin. Lovely. I told Rick I’m going to sew a designer burlap bag to pull over my head should we need to go out before it heals. His reply was “you look beautiful”. Either his eyesight has abandoned ship along with everything else or he really does love me.
I’m always after my children and grandchildren to lather on the sunscreen. When you’re young you assume you are invincible so I might as well be suggesting they ditch their smart phones and get a couple of tin cans with a rope attached.
Why, why, why is it things that are so gloriously delicious in this life, for example chocolate, are only good for us in moderation? Small amounts of candy are suggested while you can eat kale until it comes out your ears without any ill effects? The eternal question. I know, I know you are shaking your heads and thinking but chocolate isn’t bad for you in small amounts, actually good for you. I DON’T WANT A SMALL AMOUNT! I want a mountain of chocolate atop a Matterhorn of ice cream. For twenty years after my son was born I couldn’t consume chocolate without breaking out in a blotchy rash. Apparently something occurred in my body chemistry during my son’s difficult birth that caused this reaction. Sure, I couldn’t have come out of it with an allergy to, say, liver or tripe? NOOOOOO. Thankfully I did my time and around ten years ago began to be able once again to enjoy the heavenly taste that is chocolate. Still, I don’t eat chocolate, or any sweets often but occasionally Susie has just got to have it.
Don’t misunderstand me kale lovers, I enjoy kale, but if I was asked to design my last meal a big bowl of kale definitely would not be number one on my list. I wouldn’t order a lot of sweets either. Definitely there would be a hamburger with grilled onions smothered in rich cheddar cheese. Okay, I’m hungry. When I’m hungry I don’t crave sweets. In a way I was born with a very low libido when it comes to sugary treats. If I were to crave something on the “bad list” of foods it would more likely be French fries or Fiery Cheetos. Oh yes, I like dem Fiery Cheetos. That is one snack I never keep in the house as my impulse control when it comes to the crispy orangey little nuggets is very low. Also, if you offer your grandchildren unhealthy snacks from time to time, never choose Fiery Cheetos for small children. I say this from one sad new couch experience many years ago where little orange fingerprints nearly rendered the lovely grey material it was covered with unusable.
Let’s face it kids are hard on furniture. They don’t sit in it, they plop, land, fly or repel into a seated position. Feet go on fabric whether shoes remain on or bare feet have been recently cleaned. If they are eating and don’t have a napkin handy (basically any time they’re eating no matter how many napkins are available on the counter) an arm rest or couch cushion will serve just as well. One of my granddaughters when she was about three thought it might be fun to take a pen and draw a long line across the back of our couch. Unable to get the ink out, that couch ended up against a back wall and pens were stored at a much higher elevation in future visits.
Ever vigilant is the motto when raising children, in particular pre-schoolers. You can’t afford to take your eyes off the little buggers for a minute and learn to find silence, rather than comforting, a sign that something is going on. My two, a boy and a girl, were born a year apart. Truly it was like having twins for that first year or two. Two in diapers, two with bottles, and double the trouble once both were fully mobile. They shared a room after the first year. My son, the youngest was still in his crib, with my daughter in a toddler bed. Back when I was raising children they had a schedule. After lunch my two pirates went down for a nap and this was my time to catch up on my day or simply take five minutes to sit down and catch my breath. One particular day they had slept an hour or two and it was deliciously quiet. I poured a cup of coffee and took a moment to remove the nail polish I’d found time to apply the previous summer and give myself a pedicure. Once the polish had dried I made my way stealthily down the hall to peek in on my sleeping angels and check on how they were doing. Quietly pushing the door open I found my son with a large green crayon in his chubby fist creating his first wall mural. Lord. I mean it, Lord. Crayons are wonderful tools when used on a piece of art paper. Unfortunately when applied to paint not so much. If you attempt to paint over the crayon the wax bleeds through. In the end I had to have the wall professionally repainted. One expensive pedicure. Lesson learned.
These delicious melt in your mouth ribs are delicious dipped in the Kentucky bourbon laced sauce accompanying them. Yum, and yum.
Slow Baked Back Ribs with Kentucky Bourbon Sauce
2 racks of ribs membrane on back removed
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. hot paprika
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
Preheat oven to 225 degrees
Whisk together rub ingredients and rub all over meat. Wrap tightly in tin foil.
Bake for 3 1/2 hours. Open packages and brush on barbecue sauce reserving half the sauce for dipping. Continue cooking uncovered for 20 minutes. Slice and serve with sauce.
Kentucky Bourbon Sauce
1 cup catsup
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup Kentucky bourbon
2 1/2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. ground mustard
1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 Tbsp. Sriracha sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Whisk together ingredients. Allow to sit in refrigerator for 2 hrs. before using.