Monday, June 24, 2013

I Don't Givea Fug Today -- Bad Pictures of Delicious Spare Ribs

Let me tell you a bit about my morning. It has nothing to do with food, and everything to do with the fact that if I complain about something, it makes me feel better about the situation at hand. Now that you know how my mind works, let's proceed.

I woke up at 4am to a yellowjacket stinging the crap* out of my arm. In the comfort and security of my own bed, I woke up to a freaking stinging wasp-bee-hybrid-thing stinging me. Repeatedly. Before I could wake up completely and realize what was happening, it had dropped to my leg and started stinging me there.

So, Happy Monday, Ashley, here is your worst nightmare realized.

Seriously, I'm one of those wimps who runs in fear when a yellowjacket or two ends up buzzing around a picnic or fair or whatnot. I scream and run and it's just bad news all around. This morning I had a fleeting thought that Freddie Krueger has finally made his way to Greenfield and was using my worst fear to kill me in a nightmare, but I'm sure it would have been hundreds of wasps and not just one, had that been the case. So I'm relatively safe, for now.

It had snuck in through the open window, which had been accidentally left open because it was hot as balls outside and someone had forgotten there was no screen.

So, basically what I've learned this morning at 4am is that, you're not safe in even the safest place you can think of--your own bed. Lovely life lessons for a Monday morning. However, I also learned that my poor sleep-deprived boyfriend is willing to jump out of bed at the first sign of danger and bring me ibproufin, benedryl, water, and an ice pack as well as closing the window without me having to say much else besides "CORY CORY OH MY GOD THERE WAS A YELLOWJACKET IN THE BED IN THE BED AND IT STUNG ME A BUNCH OF TIMES AND OH MY GOD HOW DID IT GET IN HOW DID IT GET IN??"

My arm is still in throbbing pain, but the swelling in my face (WHY MY FACE??) is down to barely noticeable.

Anyways, this has nothing to do with food, but it's all I can think of right now. I don't have the energy to edit and post the pretty pictures of food I made over the weekend,, so instead here is an older recipe I'd had in my drafts for braised short ribs. I made these on a whim after short ribs were on sale at the discount grocery store. It was evening by the time they were done, so the photo quality in these is not great--if anyone wants to be generous and buy me EGO lights, I'll be your friend forever--but trust me when I say braised short rib is one of the most delicious things out there that you can make yourself.

*I said "crap" instead of "shit" because, while I do swear occasionally in the spoken word, as many my age are wont to do, I try to keep my blog relatively PG. However, going with the whole "I'm 25 and dealing with occasionally tough 'growing-up' stuff" angle this blog seems to take, I feel like I should be able to drop a swear or two if the spirit moves me. My book will definitely have some, and I don't want readers to be blindsided if they pick up my book and see an unsavory word or two. Thoughts?

Wine Braised Short Ribs
(Adapted only slightly from Pioneer Woman)

  • 8 whole Beef Short Ribs
  • salt and pepper (to season ribs and at the end "to taste")
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 6 pieces bacon, diced
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 cups Beef broth or stock (I used a combo of both since I was low on broth)
  • 2 sprigs Thyme (I used dried)
  • 2 sprigs Rosemary (I used dried--In all honesty I used the two fresh herbs I had on hand, basil and oregano, and sprinkled these two dried versions in as well)

Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour. Set aside.

In a large dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy and all fat is rendered. Remove and set aside. Leave a few tablespoons of grease in the pan, drain the rest.

Add olive oil to remaining grease, and raise heat to high. Brown ribs on all sides, then remove and set aside to a shallow dish (can be the same dish bacon is on). Turn heat to medium.

Add all vegetables to pan and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in wine and deglaze the pan. Bring to a boil and cook additional 2 minutes.

Add broth, 1 teaspoon salt and sprinkling of pepper. Taste and add more salt if needed. Add ribs and bacon to the liquid. Add herbs and mix in well.

Put on the lid and place into the oven. Cook at 350 for 2 hours, then reduce heat to 325 and cook for an additional 30 to 45 minutes. Ribs should be fork-tender and falling off the bone. Remove pan from oven and let rest 20 minutes. Skim off any fat you see before serving.

**I served this with truffled roasted asparagus (clean and cut asparagus, toss with EVVO and salt and pepper, bake at 350 until wilted and a black bits appear, drizzle with truffle oil), and a red wine beef risotto. My boyfriend, however, requested that next time I make a side of potatoes, as they would be ideal to soak up the excess juices and the drippings from the beef would make an excellent gravy.

Also, I am SUPER EXCITED for Dishcrawl Pioneer Valley tomorrow night! I get to meet some local foodies and try some surprise courses at area restaurants. Can't wait! If you're a Western Masser and are interested, please email me! It's pricey, but I have a 15% off code... if there are still tickets available, that is.


  1. I can't even concentrate on the tasty ribs because OMG YOU POOR THING!

    That would FUHREEEAK me the eff out, nonononoooooo

    1. Haha, well at least I know you read the words in the blog... I'm waiting for someone to just say "this dish looks great!"--I know that when I feel obliged to do the commenting rounds and am too frazzled to read through I do that sometimes. But here I think I'd definitely know if someone is using that method, since it'd be hard not to sympathize with my current plight.

      But yes, poor me. It is hours later and my arm is still throbbing. I am very close to going outside and digging up dirt to make mud with and not caring about the looks I will get from coworkers...

  2. Because your target audience is really 20-something, I think if you want to curse, go ahead. It would seem inauthentic to always be dancing around what you really want to say. That being said, sorry about your shitty morning. At least you have a manly boyfriend. One time, my cat brought a bat (A FREAKING LIVE BAT!) into my bed. Set it next to me. My boyfriend ran and hid and cried in the other room while I took care of it.

    1. Yeah, I just get a handful of older bloggers with families and I worry about losing them if they get offended... can't please everyone, I guess! I'll try to be less reserved about it.

      I had crushed the wasp by the time he woke up, so he didn't totally have to be manly, but he did close the top part of the window where I'm sure there was a nest of some sort right outside, so takes SOME bravery.

  3. Oh no! So sorry that happened! OUCH! Hope you're feeling okay!

  4. OMG - This brought back one of my worst memories of all time. Once when I was about 12 years old a wasp was in my bed (like under the covers) and I woke up in the middle of the night to it stinging my leg!! It was awful! I totally feel for you.

    P.S. Tasty ribs :-)

  5. Yum, these look awesome! I love short ribs but don't make them very often (mostly due to sheer laziness and the need to eat rightthissecond when I'm hungry). And yikes! I would have freaked out after that VICIOUS yellowjacket attack, too. :)

  6. Bees/Wasps/Yellow Jackets they all scare the shit out of me (yeah I said it I'm a 30 something year old woman and I sometimes talk like a trucker. :-) I've been stung once, and I had to walk up/down? can't remember a very large hill to get to the infirmary. It was horrible and turns out I'm allergic. So yes, I avoid them like the plague.

    And to the ribs, ribs are good and sometimes they don't photograph well but that's okay because you made short ribs.

    1. I know, I felt proud of myself for making them! I tend to make something for dinner expecting to photograph it and it gets too late, or I make something for dinner, think "Woah this would be great for the blog!" then I cannot get my flimsy lights to do what I want them to and I cannot fix the light in post. Bluh.

  7. Holy God, talk about my worst nightmare! Worse than Freddy Kreuger, because it is IN YOUR BED, and not your head. Thank God you're not allergic!

  8. Omg, that's a nightmare!!! Sneaky, maniacal bee! Why would it do that? I would have dropped a few more swear words than that :)