Mmmm…ribs, although the didn’t turn out exactly the way I’d hoped, they were still pretty darn good. I just love ribs and have promised myself I’ll treat myself more often. They aren’t the healthiest thing in the world but still a whole lot better in my mind than a big mac or nachos supreme.

I was late getting the grill going because I decided at the last minute that I’d like to try using a rib rack. My mother-in-law was running errands and looked for one for me but didn’t have any luck since it was a holiday. The ribs were a little crowded, as you can see, but they were fine. Oh, and yes, I’m grilling on a wooden deck. It had just rained so I wasn’t worried too much, but I kept a close eye and always have a fire extinguisher close at hand just in case.

I use charwood charcoal and a chimney starter. Jason at Off the Broiler does a good job describing how to use a chimney starter so I’ll just refer you to his post (his ribs look much better than mine do). I really don’t like food that has been cooked over lighter fluid soaked briquets; it’s amazing how much better the food tastes this way.

In this case I set the grill up for indirect heat: coals on one side and a drip pan in the other. The meat goes over the drip pan and the vent goes over the meat so the smoke is pulled past the meat. I threw some hickory chunks on the coals for that good smoky flavor. I started out at low heat, around 225 degrees, but after an hour or so kicked it up to around 350 since we had guests and they didn’t want to stay all day and into the night. If it’d just been us I would have made Dru wait until they were smoked and falling off the bone, but I’ll do that next time.

But, still they turned out really good. In my mind they were a bit too dry but everyone said they were good. I’ll keep trying.

I served the ribs with mashed potatoes that I boiled in the garlic broth from the other night. They were good, but not nearly as garlicky as I wanted them to be.

The corn salad was scrumptous. The taste of summer. Here’s the recipe, it’s from Bell’s Best, one of the stalwarts of the Southern cookbook canon.

Corn Salad

2 cans white shoe peg corn (I, of course, would substitute fresh. If you do, blanch corn and use maybe 2 ears)
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 cucumbers, peeled and diced
1 onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
salt & pepper to taste
3 tbsp. mayonnaise

Drain corn (if using canned); add bell pepper, cucumbers, onion and mayonnaise. Cover and chill. Add tomato before serving.

Couldn’t be easier! You can add any kind of fresh veggies your heart desires. If you don’t like mayonnaise you can make a quick vinaigrette instead.