That's when I remembered I was supposed to take the ribs out of the fridge to warm up a little. I raced to the kitchen, snagged them from the cold box and even went to far as to place them on clean sheet pans which were room temperature. The thought of using a hair dryer to warm them up crossed my mind, but they should be fine I said. A few minutes later, I racked the ribs and placed them in the smoker.
The temperature wasn't quite what I thought it should be, so I turned it up as high as it would go. In another thirty minutes, I checked the box temp, but it still wasn't up to par. I know it's cold outside, in the 40's, but I didn't think it would make that much difference. Well let me tell you, it did. Finally I grabbed my laundry room rug and wrapped the smoker to help hold the heat and set up a wind break. It worked ... but by now, I'm a little behind schedule.
Time to make dessert. How could such a simple thing turn into a disaster? I've made this so many times I have the recipe memorized!! Apparently, it was also too cold INSIDE my house. I do tend to keep the temperature in the mid 60's. The chocolate mixed with the hot cream immediately seized up before I could fold in the whipped cream. I had no choice but to WHIP the cream into the chocolate to get it to dissolve, in which case it became so thick, it was difficult to get into the glasses.
It's okay, I said, I'll just cover the messy top with whipped cream from a can ... Redi-Whip. I put all the glasses in the fridge and proceeded to wash the utensils. That's when I noticed THIS!! WHAT??? The tip is missing!! I'm SURE it wasn't missing when I folded in the cream ... or was it? Oh good grief! I really didn't relish telling the company to watch out for something chewy in the dessert, but I had no choice. Luckily, he didn't get it. Neither did I. Something to look forward to in the next few days as I eat the remaining four glasses.
Speaking of knives (more on that below), I handed him the wine bottle opener to pull the cork on the wine, whereupon he promptly picked up my favorite, sharpest, brand new knife and went to cutting on the glass and metal to get the label off. I about had a heart attack. I'm sure I looked distressed, but you'll be happy to know I kept quiet. Be nice I told myself!!
Back to the ribs, I decided to forego the smoker for the last hour and stuck them all in the oven. Too bad I didn't turn the heat up just a little more. They were done, but definitely NOT fall off the bone. I think they could have used at LEAST another hour. Four just wasn't enough. I didn't think they were TOO bad, but then again, I had two glasses of wine before dinner (he brought two bottles) and honestly, didn't care WHAT they tasted like.
I was a good hostess, I cut off all the smaller ends and gave him those ... slightly thinner and more well done. I think I need to practice my rib skills more often ... and NOT try to cook them in cold weather. It really did make a HUGE difference!! Who knew??
The best part of dinner was the baked potatoes. I was a little concerned over those, not having baked potatoes in probably five or six years. I thought the usual time was one hour, so I made sure they went in 90 minutes ahead of time. Wrapped in foil, I kept turning them over and over. It worked ... they were done to perfection!!
Lastly, the cole slaw tried to throw me for a loop. I wanted to put a little pineapple in .... just because. You know those little pull tabs to open the can? It popped right off. RATS!! I tried a can opener, but the lid was too low and it wouldn't cut. Company got out his handy dandy knife and opened it for me. Of course no telling where that knife has been, but I CAN tell you it was inside a can of pineapple.
I don't think I'll be having more company any time soon!! If I do, Applebees sounds pretty good to me.
It's Magic Kingdom night, so I'm heading to the couch for a nap. Yes it is only 7:39 am, but I need all the rest I can get when it comes to that group!!