Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Dr. Brown's Cream Soda + Figuring Out BBQ Pork Ribs

The soda's color matches all the old games in the background.

Dr. Brown's Cream Soda

Cream sodas, in my experience, tends towards overly sweet and strong. Dr. Brown's dodges that bullet with a comparatively subtle amount of flavoring. I don't know what "cream" exactly means as a flavor, but Brown's begins in that flavor I know to call cream and wanders over into vanilla aftertaste. I wouldn't know that there was a difference unless the one was so clearly leading into the other.

Dr. Brown's, of course, is a reputable soda maker. Unfortunately, they deviate from the path of righteousness by using "sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup". There really is a variance in the product between batches, I was a fan of their Dark Cherry soda and drank it consistently for about six months. It baffled the mind how one can was perfectly sweet and the next flavored like burned bread.

The stuff is almost always good, even when it's corn syrupy, and that makes me wonder if just the littlest bit of sugar helps offset the corn syrup nasty. That this little bit of sugar helps the medicine taste of corn syrupy go down.

More important than the Dr. Brown's is the dinner I ate alongside it. I was attracted by a massive slab of pork ribs in the meat market, it was huge and gross and beckoned to me. I'd never cooked pork ribs, but I've had people cook them for me and they never turned out. These ribs cost mere pennies, and I took them home. There I looked up an internet recipe, and got to work.

These become...

...fatty, barbecuey perfection. You can see I ate several pieces
before it occured to me to take a photo.

I lightly fried the ribs so there were browned on two sides, then popped them in the 350 degree oven. The ribs filled two casserole dishes. I kept basting and flipping the ribs every twenty minutes, but realized that I was falling into the same nasty trap as all the oven cooked ribs I'd ever had. I'd glaze the top, flip and flip the rib, when I flipped it back all the delicious glazing had melted off in the grease, leaving a white chicken flesh colored rib.

What I figured out, and I'm sure this is obvious to those of you out there who do this sort of thing regularly, is to prop the ribs up on a skinny end. I leaned them against the side of the casserole dish, or tilted them over onto a bit of scrap bone that had come along in the rib packet. This kept the bulk of the surface up and out of the grease, letting the glaze and crust build up properly.

The ribs were amazing, almost as good as my favorite restaurant ribs. I attribute most of that to Old Cape Cod Black Angus BBQ Sauce, which turned into a candy crust with repeated bastings. This is my favorite store bought barbecue sauce anywise, it's good on everything.

I ate the entire batch of ribs in one sitting. Two huge casserole dishes full, chasing it down with Dr. Browns.

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