A Very Different Blog
I just thought y'all might enjoy a short story (sort of) that I wrote a long time as a fun way to share some recipes. Next week, I'll get back to talking about writing tips. :)
A Cowboy’s Paradise
The sound of a key grating in the door struck Libby as strange at this late hour. Now, if it had been say, eight hours earlier, she wouldn’t be filled with the urge to throw her coffee cup instead of gently placing the stoneware on top of the battered table.
The door opened and some part of the intruder’s physiognomy made contact with the hard wood of the door frame. “Dang it, where’s that light?”
Libby stood and reached for the switch behind the refrigerator. “You’ve only lived here for ten years, Rafe. You’d think you know where the light switch is by now.”
He ducked his head, either to avoid the bright light or her glare, so all she could see was the dark blond hair that had first drawn her to him like a moth. Without even knowing what he was doing, he could still soften her anger.
“I haven’t been here most of the time I’ve lived here,” he grumbled and lost the advantage he didn’t even know he’d gained, “rodeo.” He took a chance and looked up at her, squinting. “What was for dinner, babe?”
She smiled a bit too sweetly. “Ribs, your Mom and Dad just loved them. They wondered where you were, though.”
His blue eyes widened, then he shook his head in reaction to the light that had undoubtedly seeped in. Still, he held out a hand to touch her shoulder. “Shoot, I forgot. I’m sorry, Libby.”
She twisted and opened the refrigerator. “Don’t get any ideas, I didn’t do this on purpose. But you know how little your parents eat—so I saved you some.”
“Thanks, Lib.” His sweet voice made her hand him the plate just so she could jerk her fingers through her hair in exasperation.
“Where were you, Rafe? At least when you were on the circuit, I didn’t expect you home. I could go to sleep at night, knowing where you were in general, at least. Now, I don’t have any idea if you’re lying in a ditch somewhere or in some floozy’s arms.”
He grinned, chuckled. “Don’t know where you think I’d find a floozy in this sleepy town, babe, besides, I don’t know if anyone but you knows what that word means anymore.” He stuck the plate in the microwave, turned to grab her before she could protest. “Sweetheart, there ain’t no woman on this planet for me but you. I just like to go drinking with the boys sometimes, that’s all.”
Libby leaned her head against his chest, maybe because she wasn’t used to staying up until one in the morning. Something in his shirt pocket rustled and she leaned back, reached in to find a receipt. Lazily, she turned it over. “Spending us out of house and home, Rafe.” Writing on the back caught her attention. “Who’s Tracy?”
“What do you mean?” The squinting act of his grated on her last nerve.
“What do you mean what do I mean?” Squirming out of his grasp, she reached back into the refrigerator, “You know what, Rafe, I don’t think there’s anything on that plate but ribs.”
“So?” He eyed her warily.
“Well, it’s just that ribs ain’t complete without some slaw to go with them.” Pivoting, she tugged at the zipper to his tight-fitting jeans, tipped the bowl, and poured.
He stared with slack jaw, glancing back and forth from her face to his open fly. “Libby, I can’t believe.”
“You know, sweetheart, you’re right. After all your sweet talk, you can’t believe I didn’t offer you some dessert. That’s what you were thinking, wasn’t it?”
He attempted a step backward in retreat, but stopped as the slaw seeped down his pants leg. “No, I can’t say I was thinking at all, Lib.”
“I don’t think you were, Rafe.” She pulled out an apple pie, three-quarters gone.
“Now, Libby, that pie in the face thing, that’s cliché, you know.”
“Yeah, well, so’s the cowboy sleeping around thing.” She jammed the pie in his face, making slow, clockwise revolutions.
He licked his face in appreciation. “You know, it’s a good thing this pie’s cold or you’d feel real bad when you find out that Tracy’s a mom who hired me to teach her five-year old how to ride.”
“Yeah, well, good thing I couldn’t find the corn.”
3 lbs. meaty (beef) spareribs Boiling salted water
¼ teaspoon each dried rosemary, dried thyme, or basil leaves
1 cup red table wine
1/3 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
½ teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon minced ginger, or ¼ teaspoon ginger
Cut spareribs into 1 – to 2 rib sections. Place in large saucepan of boiling slated water. Add herbs. Bring to a boil. Simmer, covered, for 45 minutes or until tender. Drain. Meanwhile, blend together marinade ingredients in a 13 by 9 inch baking pan. Place meat in marinade, turning to coat all sides. Refrigerate until ready to cook (up to 24 hours is good for more taste). Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, basting frequently with sauce until ribs are browned and glazed. OR grill, slowly until browned (be careful, these crisp or overcook quickly).
Memphis-Style Cole Slaw
1 medium-sized head green cabbage (tough leaves removed), cored and shredded
2 medium-sized carrots, peeled and grated
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely diced
2 tablespoons grated onion
1 – 2 cups prepared mayonnaise, to taste
¼ - ½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup Dijon-style mustard
¼ cup cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
Place the cabbage, carrots, green pepper, and onion into a large bowl. Set aside. In another bowl, mix together all of the remaining ingredients. Pour over the vegetables and toss well to combine. Cover the coleslaw and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours before serving for the flavors to meld.
Serves 6. Per serving: 711 calories, 62 g fat, 37 mg cholesterol (unless you cut back on the mayo, etc. as I suggest)
Remove husks from fresh corn. Remove silk with a stiff brush. Place each ear on a piece of aluminum foil. Spread corn liberally with soft butter or margarine and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap in foil (don’t seal seam, but fold or twist foil around ends). Roast over hot coals 15 to 20 minutes or till tender, turning ears frequently.
American Apple Pie
Unbaked 9-inch double crust
6 cups peeled and thinly sliced tart apples (4 large Granny Smith apples)
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon nutmeg (or apple pie spice)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon butter or margarine
1 Tablespoon milk
¼ cup sugar
Heat oven to 450 degrees. For filling, combine sliced apples, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, lemon juice, and butter in large bowl. Toss to mix well. Spoon filling into unbaked pie shell. Moisten pastry edge with water. Cover with top crust. Fold top edge under bottom crust. Flute with fingers or fork. Cut slits or design in top crust or prick with fork for escape of steam. For topping, brush crust lightly with milk. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Cool until barely warm or to room temperature before serving.