We have had lots of struggles and challenges in our lives, but we've had even more blessings!

Thursday, July 5, 2012


   As we have the last couple of years, we got together with our neighbors, Chris and Amy and family, for dinner and fireworks last night. I had said that I would bring dinner this time, but it was at their house seeings how they have central air!
   Sunday afternoon, as Byron started up his van so we could head home from Grandpa 'Honey's' house, the noise his van made, went from "we better look into that", to "pop the hood and let's see if it's even safe to drive this thing home". It was, but it was decided it should be parked upon arrival. Something to do with the fan belt connected to the non working air conditioning unit.
    Tuesday evening, Brent and Byron got together to replace said belt. The idea had been, that once they were done, Byron was going to drive us out for dinner, where we could sit in air conditioning for awhile. A few hours later, I called them. Just the sound of their voices told me things were not going well. It was a few more hours later before Byron came in to clean up and head to work and Brent headed home. There went the idea of Byron taking me grocery shopping early the next morning.
    I already had a lunch date scheduled with Joanna. We didn't linger as long over lunch, but instead headed to the grocery store. (Thanks again Joanna!)
    I still got the menu I had planned on, due to now having a hunger for it. The menu was going to be Country Style Boneless Ribs, slow cooked in a crock-pot with BBQ sauce. My Pasta Salad (made with corkscrew noodles, broccoli, red pepper, colby jack cheese, miracle whip, ranch dressing and milk). And chocolate ice cream pie for dessert. Simple, but yummy.
     I put the noodles on to boil, mixed up my own BBQ sauce, and started to put the country style ribs in the crock-pot. Thing was, I guess I hadn't fully read their package label. While it did say "Country Style", and it was "pork ribs", they weren't the boneless variety. Instead, they were shoulder cut styled. That meant they didn't curve around in my round crock-pot the same. Bother!  Thankfully, the Lord intervened on my behalf and Byron came through the back door and offered to cut the meat into chunks for me, thus removing the bones. (Thanks again Byron!!)
    Got all of the cut up meat into the crock-pot, poured my sauce over it, used my hands to make sure it was mixed together good, plugged it in and went to work on the salad, then the dessert.
    Part way through, Brian came hobbling via one crutch in to the kitchen, pulling a fan behind him, which he plugged in and turned my direction. "That feels amazing! I've looked up at the ceiling fan several times, questioning whether or not it was really working." (Thanks again Brian!!)
   At six o' five, I checked the temp. of the meat. It was up to 105o. We decided to wander on over and just come back to get the food later. We knew that they wouldn't mind waiting a bit. I figured another hour to hour and a half and the meat would surpass 160o. It wouldn't be falling apart tender like it would have been if I'd been able to get it started first thing in the morning, but it should still be juicy and good.
   Their daughters and I came back at seven thirty to get everything. The meat thermometer now read 110o. "What?!?" "Maybe it needs recalibrated." But I couldn't find the other ones. "We'll just take everything over and recheck it with your dad's thermometer." It too read 110o. "Really?!?" I guess that 'new to me' crock-pot I had picked up at a mission store only heated to that temp. Bother!  It will work great for nacho or cheese dips, etc., just not for cooking meat in! (Yes, I'm marking the crock-pot, seeings how I have two identical ones).
   Chris suggested we put half of the meat into a baking pan and in to their oven for a half hour. It worked!  It was just by then we were all r-ea-l-l-y hungry. As soon as we pulled the first pan full out of the oven, we put the rest of the meat in in a different pan. So-o glad they had central air!
    While only half of everybody liked the pasta salad, everybody loved the meat (re-leaf!), as well as the dessert.
    Ya know, I had a bowl full of that salad about a hour and a half ago... I think it's now time for dessert! o:-D

    [ Why do I cook the ribs in the crock-pot instead of grilling them? Because they turn out ever so falling apart on your plate tender, you don't have to try and gnaw them off the bones, and you don't have to sweat in 90 plus temps over a grill. ]

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