Monday, August 22, 2011

Get Sauced!

Why, you ask, would someone assemble all of these ingredients to make a batch of what is already in the fridge and what you know is going to taste perfectly fine?

When your son turns to you and says, "Hey, we should make our own barbecue sauce and we could make it taste like Famous Dave's!" well, what can you do? Seriously, what can you do, because I'm not all that into cooking and if there's a way to divert his attention, maybe with something shiny, I'd like to know about it!

Three recipes--one spicy, one with a beer base, one with a Carolina-style vinegar approach. All start with some yellow onions, garlic, paprika, and chili powder.

It's important to carefully measure. It's also important to know the difference between a tablespoon and a teaspon, becuase they are NOT interchangeable.

I can't show you the rest of the carnage--thank goodness I have an ayi! No seriously, I cleaned it up...we don't do that to poor Xiao! The smell of the cayenne and onions had our eyes watering way out to the living room.

On the left, beer sauce, on the right, the vinegar sauce. In the middle, the "spicy space." I thought we should have a catchy name like "Hell's on Fire" but thanks to creative (mis)spelling, we now have our famous "Spicy Space" sauce.

I made shredded pork (a pork tenderloin, beer and chicken broth, and then dump in a bunch of onion, garlic, and peppers or whatever might make it taste good and let it slow cook for 5-6 hours). Everyone decided to dip before piling it on the sandwich.

Smiles, or a grimace before grabbing that water to cool off the spicy sauce? Either way, he looks pretty satisfied. We all were, too. Three sauces, and each one was someone's favorite. The best overall in terms of texture and flavor was the spicy one--I'd definitely make it again, but tone it down for normal folks!

This is my delightful and quite unpredictable child. You need to CARPE DIEM whenever the opportunity arises with him. You know those emotional bank accounts or gas tanks the experts always talk about? We need to pay way ahead whenever we can, because the withdrawals can be heavy. My feelings about cooking and my love for easy-peasy aside, we had a GREAT afternoon together, my boy and I.

So You Were Saying You Want More China?

Photo by Weda Bory

Here it is...a colleague captured this lovely and not atypical moment. On the brand-new subway line that just opened last spring. So maybe you want to bring your Wellies if you come to visit. Just in case.

Look at that Face!

Look at that sweet face. Can you pretend along with me that this is an artsy shot and not what it really is--one of the worst pictures I may have ever taken in terms of quality? I SWORE there would be NO PUPPIES in my house, but Mark clearly was carrying residual guilt over his part in Peter's disappearance last spring, and he was the one who tipped the scales. I think I can still say NO PUPPIES because this is not a natural puppy...he doesn't chew on the shoes we leave out, he doesn't have accidents in the house, he doesn't gnaw on the furniture...seriously, it's unnatural. I think he's going to be a great addition to the family--he's already added so much life and spunk to the mix!

I've been very "eh" on the blog. I really like doing it, but I understand what serious bloggers say about needing a focus. Should it be family? China? Living abroad? We live in such a bubble that with work and all, I don't feel like I get out and about enough to make it interesting. I'm going to make a bigger commitment again this year, so we'll see. Most people make New Year's resolutions; teachers make back-to-school resolutions. Stay tuned!