Like many of you, I have grown tired of the countless hours of news coverage on the economic outlook for our country as well as the world. As each month goes by, it seems like there is less money to go around. I am leary that one small downturn, and my paycheck could unexpectedly cease to exist. The color has slowly faded to abysmal shades of gray. All hope seems to be lost.
But wait... what's that... just as depression is about to overtake me and cause me years of costly therapy and regression into childhood failures... it's fresh cut grass, cooler nights, the smell of bbq wafting up from a parking lot full of jersey wearing fanatics, it's falling asleep on the recliner during the fourth quarter blowout by my favorite SEC team, it's going to early service at church in order to make it home before the kickoff, it's ...... football.
Just in the nick of time. Whether it's Saturday College action that you yearn for or Sunday afternoon NFL games, it's back.
To be honest, if you're anything like me, you've already started ignoring the news of the day in exchange for some Sportscenter or NFL Network or internet sites like Sports Illustrated or CBS Sportsline.
There is definitely something therapuetic about the smell of homemade chili, brats, hamburgers, BBQ, cheesesteak, hot wings, you name it. Settling in for the pre-game analysis, friendly trash talking with your friends and co-workers, neglecting the honey-do-list in favor of remote control.
This getaway has been eight months in the making for me, and it couldn't come at a better time. So take a deep breath, put on your favorite jersey, send your wife to the mall or the spa (if she's not a fan herself), slop up your favorite game time meal and grab a glass of your favorite cold beverage (whether it's beer or sweet tea), and enjoy the next 3-4 months of therapy. We all deserve it.
To add to your enjoyment, I am including a recipe for my favorite game time food. Please feel free to comment with recipes of your own favorite foods, concoctions or rituals that we may all share in this beautiful escape.
Tennessee Style Baby Back Ribs
3 Full Racks of Baby Back Ribs (these come cryovacced together at Sam's Club)
4 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup salt
2 tbsp garlic powder (not garlic salt)
2 tbsp onion powder (not onion salt)
2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp sweet basil
1/2 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp chili powder
Mix all dry ingredients together to form a rub
Take a sharp knife and cut the thin tough membrane on the back of the rib crossways (one cut)
Work your finger underneath the membrane and pull the membrane off the back of each rack
If you do not have a wood smoker, mix 1 cup of apple juice with 1-2 drops of liquid smoke
If you have a wood smoker, don't add liquid smoke to your apple juice.
Wet the ribs thoroughly with the apple juice
Then rub the ribs with the dry rub mixture, completely coat.
If you are using your oven or convection oven cook the ribs at 275 degrees (this can be different than the setting on your oven) for about 3-4 hours on a foil lined cookie sheet (meat side up). A convection oven will give the ribs more of a crust.
If you are using a wood smoker, cook the ribs at a consistent 275 degrees for about 3.5 to 4 hours.
Remove the ribs and let stand for 15-20 minutes prior to eating.
Serve with your favorite bbq sauce or eat them dry.