It’s been so long now since I’ve written a column that I hardly know where to begin. I was turned off writing about recipes and am hoping this column can take a different direction, but it’s all still going around in my head, so I’ll just ramble on about some food things and non-food things too.
Latest “thumbs down” is the China Doll, Second at Seward which has shitty Chinese food. Portions are small, prices are high and service is nil.
We were there at 5 in the evening during the week, one of two couples, and we were practically ignored. Oh yea, we did rate a t by the window which has a lovely view of the sun setting over the Addressograph building.
Thumbs up: Sam Durante’s pizza, Warren near Cass. Sam is a gas to rap with and for someone who has never really been crazy about pizza, I can honestly say I go there often.
Now I don’t want you to think I’m saying good things about Sam just because he promised me a free pizza if I did but it is true he promised me a free pizza if I mentioned his name and I want to make sure he doesn’t forget it.
Besides a good pizza, Sam has some great old rock records on the juke box and nice kids who work for him. Walking by his place in the afternoon, smelling pizza and seeing young kids with lots of hair working there brings back memories of when I lived in the Village and practically existed on pizza at 20 cents a slice.
Memorial Day, I barbequed ribs for the first time and gotta admit they were pretty good. I usually approached ribs like I do Chinese food; I know I can never make them myself as good as they are when you order them, so we always go out for Chinese food or ribs.
Memorial Day we planned a picnic on Belle Isle and I was supposed to make potato salad which I completely fucked up by not testing the jar of mayonnaise before putting it in the salad. The mayonnaise was bad and there I was with about 8 quarts of rancid potato salad.
I’m really like a silly young girl when I fuck something up I cook. I’m very sensitive about it, usually I go stomping off to my room, sometimes even with a tear in my eye, refusing to talk about it or even clean up the mess I made. This time I just put the potato salad in the refrigerator, somehow thinking it might be better in the morning, which, of course, it wasn’t.
So I had no choice but to barbeque ribs. I put together a cheap bottle of barbeque sauce, some chili powder, curry powder, honey, a pinch of whatever else I thought might look good in it and lots of hot sauce.
No one can tell anyone else how to make barbeque sauce because everyone has their own way which is the best (this theory also seems to relate to martinis and the way people talk about them).
I just threw all the stuff together, not caring and really not believing it would come out right anyway. When we got- to Belle Isle, some other people let us use their grille and I know everyone was watching me, knowing I had never cooked ribs before.
I sorta played it by ear, looking around, seeing how everyone else was doing it. Well, they came out good and we had a nice picnic and I slept most of the afternoon, kinda tired from my big adventure.
The next day I was relating my experiences to Geri Robinson and she told me THE SECRET! cook the ribs until they are almost done and then put the sauce on. The sauce makes them burn, which is good, but only if they’re partially cooked, so they’re done inside as well as crisp outside.
So much for the EAT IT girl takes to outdoor cooking. I also went to a shish-kabob roast and when I find out what the lamb was marinated in, I’ll pass that on.
Editor’s Note: It may be impudent of an editor to trespass in the domain of our cooking expert, but THE SECRET is not as stated above.
THE SECRET is, in fact, cooking the ribs for hours and far enough from the charcoal so that the sauce does not burn; all the while continually basting them.
This may not finish your ribs in 45 minutes, but you’ll get something closer to what you might buy at Young’s on Chene at Waterloo or at Theresa’s on Grand River.