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archive for bbq

opposite land

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

Recipe: korean barbecue chicken wings

When I left my house early yesterday morning, the predominant color of my neighborhood was white. The snow has steadily deflated and melted, but it’s still there. Within 25 minutes, we were zipping through Boulder’s streets where trees dripped with the confetti of springtime: bright yellow greens, pinks, whites, purples. My head hurt because it was early and because I had gone to bed late. This always happens when I travel – it’s the “wrapping up of things the night before” and the “catching a flight the following morning” head hurting thing.


robin perched in the aspens from the last storm

cute dark-eyed junco on our deck



My noggin did the deep sleep bounce several times during my flight to the East Coast. It woke me with that heart-racing jolt – you know, the one that makes you instinctively touch the corners of your mouth to see if you were drooling in your sleep. Each time I peered out the window to find a sea of clouds stretched out beneath us, like a giant down comforter. I searched for signs of landforms, but the weather prevailed and so did sleep. On my connection to Virginia, our puddle jumper rose above the clouds for a mere three minutes before beginning the descent. Underneath the cloud deck, I marveled at how green the Tidewater area was. Green and flat. Flat such that the only shadows thrown in the setting sun were from the trees and not from the topography of the coastal plain. Dominated by the estuaries that branch into this green and flat land with a million brackish fingers. It’s the opposite of where I make my home. And yet, I was coming home.

mixed weather and sun over the tidewater

dogwood blooms in the backyard



It’s been some time since I have visited Virginia, but we have this short window to travel before The Summer of Puppy commences. Of course, Dad has planned nearly every minute of my stay with activities, meals, and wine. I expressed my doubts that it is humanly possible to consume ALL of the food he has in mind for a long weekend (he just asked me when we’re going to eat soft shell crab). That’s the problem with going back to a place you know – there’s never enough time (or waistband). But you should save some belly room for these Korean barbecue chicken wings I tried from Irvin’s beautiful food blog. They’re baked, which in my opinion is far easier to make and less messy to clean up than frying, and they taste fantastic.

rice vinegar, soy sauce, green onions, garlic, ginger, kiwis, sugar, red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, black pepper, chicken wings

chop and mince

ready to make the marinade



**Jump for more butter**

discoveries and rediscoveries

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Recipe: galbi korean bbq short ribs

There’s something comforting in traveling a familiar trail where you know the curves, hills, rocks, trees, and stream crossings by heart. When, even in winter, you know that this very spot where the path bends will be covered with flowers in three months’ time. You know this because you’ve seen it year after year. And then there are the new trails. When you see a new trail leading off into the woods, and your eyes light up with curiosity and excitement. It calls to you. I always want to know where that trail leads. How many times have you said, “I’ll just hike up to the top of that ridge for a look” only to continue on to the next ridge and the next?


crimson columbine and violets

gothic mountain

winding through the wildflowers



On rare occasion, we’ll hike a new trail only to learn that we don’t ever need to hike that trail again (poorly marked, unmaintained, too hot, too buggy, too dangerous, too crowded). But most of the time, it’s a delightful discovery. I am especially fond of shady hikes with good breezes, nice views, and lots of huckleberry plants growing on the hillslopes. We found one of those today. I’ll be sure to revisit that one often – particularly when the hucks start to bear their precious berries.

It’s that way with recipes too when you revisit an old one that you loved but had forgotten about. I made galbi – Korean barbecue short ribs – for my parents a couple of weeks ago. When I went to dig up my recipe from the archives, I noticed the post was nearly seven years old. That was back in the day when our local Whole Foods had no clue what flanken-style ribs were. These days, they do know, but we now have a couple of Asian grocers within striking distance that also provide flanken-style beef short ribs. The Asianification of Colorado – slow, but happening. So let’s do this properly.


flanken-style short ribs, kiwis, fresh ginger, pepper, water, rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, yellow onion, sugar, garlic (hidden behind the beef ribs)

soak the ribs in water



**Jump for more butter**

life and how to live it

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Recipe: chinese-style honey hoisin barbecue ribs

Jeremy and I sat at the rocky edge of a familiar alpine lake last summer. These special places that we visit regularly hold memories that are awakened when we arrive. It’s like greeting an old friend. I stood up on a boulder in the breeze as my eyes scanned the beautiful surrounds. After a while Jeremy asked what was on my mind.

“I don’t think Kaweah will ever be able to come up and swim in her favorite lakes again.” My voice broke and I had to whisper the last few words. Kaweah loves being outside. She was a complete nut in the mountains for well over a decade, always straining to walk ahead no matter how tired she was, sniffing marmots and pika on the wind like it was crack cocaine. And then there were those running leaps into half frozen mountain lakes, taking several crazed laps around the water, tear-assing around on shore, soaking wet and chuffing with excitement. She lived for her hikes and swims.

Kaweah spends much of her time indoors now, except for her potty breaks. We make an effort to give her “Kaweah time” either in the yard or on the deck where she can sniff the latest news in the neighborhood. Her legs are so weak that walks are pretty much out of the question. So the other day, after scoping out the Slate River on one of our trail runs, I sat with Kaweah in the backseat of the car as Jeremy chauffeured us to a trailhead. All of the rivers in Crested Butte are moving fast and full with the spring runoff, but there are always side ponds (mostly beaver ponds) with currents gentle enough for an old girl like Kaweah. Jeremy carried her out into the water.


jeremy lowers kaweah to see if she struggles (i.e. doesn’t like it)

carrying her back for dip #2

jeremy spots kaweah as she paddles around



We weren’t sure if Kaweah would hate it or love it. It’s hard to read her sometimes, but she seemed to enjoy the swimming and the mobility – being free of her feeble hind legs. She took a few laps before getting pretty tired, at which point she swam to shore where Jeremy picked her up and we toweled her off and plied her with lots of loud praise (she’s mostly deaf) and treats. It’s a mere shadow of her glory days, but it seemed to be the highlight of her week.

asserting her independence

swimming solo and looking good



Kaweah was completely tuckered out for the rest of the day and part of the next day. We’re not planning to make it a daily routine. We want to make her happy, not kill her. Luckily for her, we are running the grill a lot more with the warmer weather – and THAT makes her VERY happy. I sometimes think I catch her staring at the grill longingly, or perhaps it’s the rack of ribs cooking inside the grill?

rack of pork ribs, rice vinegar, oyster sauce, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, honey, chinese five spice, onion powder, chili garlic sauce, apple juice

rub the ribs with the chinese five spice and the onion powder



**Jump for more butter**