Barbecue Season is here

It is time to take out the barbecues and get going.  We had 20 people, kids and adults, over to kick off the season last weekend.  The hardest part is always gaging how much food to buy.  I hit is right, no leftovers.  That works perfect for me because we are always looking to the next meal, so leftovers are just that, leftovers.

We made 6 racks of ribs, 2 5 lb. briskets, baked beans, coleslaw, corn bread, one fruit tart, one peanut butter chocolate pie and lemon squares.  All gone!

The ribs and brisket were rubbed down about 8 hours in advance of the party.  I used a mixture of cumin, paprika, salt, pepper and chili powder.  I was heaviest on the cumin and paprika.  Honestly you could mix it up anyway and it still works.  I let the ribs bake in the oven at 160 for about 7 hours and finished them off on the grill with ample barbecue sauce to crisp them up. The brisket sat on the barbecue for about 8 hours.  Put the brisket not on the direct heat and try to keep the grill around 300 degrees.  The brisket will get very dark but that is ok.  Then lather is up the last half an hour with barbecue sauce.  I loved it!

Baked beans were easy.  I bought 6 cans of pre-made pork and beans.  I doctored them up with brown sugar, ketchup, powdered mustard and a few slabs of bacon.  Baked that in a heavy cast iron pot in the oven at 160 degrees for about 4 hours. 

Cole slaw.  The key here is cutting it by hand.  I used the Cuisinart because I’d had it but it was a mistake.  It is much better chunky.  1 head of red cabbage,  1 head of green cabbage (not too big of heads) and a bag of carrots grated.  1 1/2 cups mayo, 1/2 white vinegar, 1/3 cup sugar.  Mix it up really well and then toss over the cabbage and carrots.  Let it sit in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving.  We made it the day before.

Corn bread.  We made it from scratch but you could use the corn bread packages and just stir in the few ingredients and it is just as good.

The most fun were making the sweets.  Recipes on that, a later day.