So last Monday morning I'm reading the USA Today. Normally I read the sports section with breakfast and save the rest for lunch, but Monday I dove right into the front page. The "big" article, the one that requires an attention span and is continued on another page, wasn't about post-election riots in Iran. It was about car sales in China.
Her are the main points: a) the Chinese like American cars, especially Buicks, b) there are a lot of Chinese people in China, c) cars pollute, ergo d) all those Chinese driving Buicks will pollute a lot.
Wow, didn't see that one coming.
But I'm not here to complain about a news article overstating the obvious. No, it was one sentence that caught my eye that I want to talk about. See, China, being a long-standing Communist country, there are some people who feel that the general population buying all these cars is somehow contrary to political philosophy. The reporter, interviewing a policeman, wrote the following:
"Chinese society is unfair now, as some can afford cars and some cannot," says Liu Dong-ming, 41, a police officer who still wears a pin in honor of Chairman Mao Zedong, a former hard-line Chinese ruler.
Did you see it? Did you catch it?
"...a pin in honor of Chairman Mao Zedong, a former hard-line Chinese ruler."
"A" former hard-line ruler? "A"?
No, no, no. Mao wasn't "A" former hard-line ruler, he was "THE" former Chinese hard-line ruler. When your "Great Leap Forward" and "Cultural Revolution" whack millions of your own peeps you are the "A" Number One-NumeroUno-Master of Disaster-El Jeffe of all former hard-line Chinese rulers!
Saying Mao is A former hard-line ruler is like saying Julius Caesar was some Roman guy with a George Clooney haircut. It's like saying Atilla was A Hun. Nope, don't short change the man, he earned his propers. Puh-leeeze!
Sheesh, next someone will tell me that The Beatles was some group McCartney was in before his solo career took off.
So long as I'm talking about THE biggest and best, here's a recipe Saveur Magazine designated "The World's Best Ribs". Now, I tried this recipe and the ribs are good, but they don't rise to "THE" status; they are strictly "A" good recipe for ribs. Regardless, the recipe is easy and good for a summer barbecue. Enjoy...
Hawaiian-Style Kalbi Baby Bay Pork Ribs
from Saveur Magazine, March, 2009
1 1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 cup soy sauce
1 TBSP Asian sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 2-inch piece peeled fresh ginger, finely chopped
1/4 cup water
3 pounds pork baby back ribs
3 scallions thinly sliced
Whisk together the first 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Add the ribs and toss to coat.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to marinate at least 1 hour, though preferably overnight. Turn occasionally.
If oven cooking: Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Place the ribs, curved side up, on an aluminum foil covered baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes.
If grilling: Pre-heat grill over high heat. Turn down the heat to medium. Using an aluminum foil sheet to separate the ribs from the rack, grill the ribs for 30 - 45 minutes, basting and turning frequently.
As the ribs start roasting, transfer the remaining marinade to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the marinade becomes thick and syrupy, about 20 minutes.
If using an oven, turn the ribs after 20 minutes and baste with the glaze. Roast for an additional 15 - 20 minutes, or until tender.
Transfer to a platter and allow to rest, covered, for 15 minutes. Garnish with scallions and serve.
OK crablings, a good rib recipe, not the best. If you're grilling, as I was, you'll run into burning issues if you aren't vigilant. Serve these ribs with some cole slaw and cold beer and life is fine.
Until next time, remember, you can do it, you can cook.