On Friday, I received some very sad new that broke my heart. It brought me to tears and I cried spontaneously for the next few days, trying to absorb, understand, and come to terms with the news that I had learned. But Saturday was supposed to be a girls' day at my house, girlfriends and their kids, eating, playing and having fun. I debated canceling because I didn't know how I would handle all the people at my home.
As it turned out, having all the people at home, trying to eat, making eggrolls, and spilling stuff on my kitchen floor was some great medicine. Between all the women, there were 7 kids, 5 adults, all running around my house eating. Somehow, we all congregated in my crowded kitchen and it was a non-stop eating fest. There were only six chairs at the table, but people took turns sitting down eating, making eggrolls, standing up to fry eggrolls, rolling eggrolls, sitting down to eat ribs, kids eating ribs. It was for about 2 hours, busier than the a buffet line at a Las Vegas resort.
In the midst of chaos, I found purpose and direction after feeling like I had been floating a bit aimlessly for a day. Although my heart was heavy, the laughter and joy of children, the hectic pace of trying to stop Son and Daughter from hurting each other, and the work of feeding others helped settle my turbulent spirit. Making food and serving others is incredibly powerful at not only healing those you feed, but yourself.
I fed people ribs. In general, you mostly see a spicy Korean pork rib, but because of the kids, I wanted to try making one that wasn't spicy. I did also make a spicy version (which I'm not happy with yet so back to the drawing board on that) but I wanted the kids to have their own. These turned out to be a big hit and the kids universally loved them. They are slightly sweet, but not cloyingly so, but are rich and full of flavor. My friends told me that THIS would be the next big recipe on the blog. We'll see.
Korean Non-Spicy Pork Ribs (안 매운 돼지 갈비)
Two slabs of baby back ribs (between 6-7 lbs), cut into three rib pieces (each slab divided into about 3 or 4 pieces)
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup sake
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sesame oil
1 whole onion grated or finely chopped
3 tablespoons garlic
3 tablespoons ginger
1 teaspoon black pepper
Mix all ingredients, except for pork ribs, together. Make sure sugar is dissolved. Take each rib section and dip it into the marinade coating it fully, and then placing it into a flat pan where it will marinate, meaty side down. (the ribs will curve upward - the logic is trying to put the meatiest side in the marinade) Continue until all the ribs have been coated, and then pour remaining marinade over the ribs. Cover and marinate for at least 8 hours, if not overnight.
Preheat oven to 275. On a foil lined roasting pan, place ribs without marinade, arranging in a single layer. Cook for 3-3 1/2 hours, until ribs are tender. (Watch carefully the last hour or so, as they could burn.) Cut into individual rib pieces and enjoy!
My friend's daughter, digging the ribs, and this put a smile on my face. (she's not even two and she ate that rib down.)