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Celebrate Father’s Day with his favourites

Food nourishes us physically and emotionally.

Many of us express our love through gifts of food or by making a favourite dish for a special person.

Here are some ideas as we celebrate the men in our lives on Father’s Day or on other special occasions.

Barbecue Greek Pork Back Ribs

These tender and tasty ribs are often requested in our home.

  • 4-6 lb. pork back ribs 2-3 kg
  • For each rack of ribs:
  • 1/2 c. lemon juice 125 mL
  • 2 tbsp. dried oregano 30 mL
  • 1 tbsp. dried basil 30 mL
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt 5 mL

Rinse ribs under running water. Place on a large cookie sheet, and use a sharp knife to loosen the thin membrane on the inside of the ribs. Sterilize a small pair of needle nose pliers, and use them to pull the membrane away from the ribs.
Cut a piece of tinfoil large enough to easily wrap one rack of ribs. Place ribs on the shiny side of the foil on a large cookie sheet. Fold up the ends of foil to prevent lemon juice from running off.
Pour lemon juice over ribs and sprinkle with herbs and salt. Fold the length of foil over ribs and fold edges together two to three times to seal. Repeat at each end to seal packet.
Repeat for each rack of ribs.

Place foil packages on a cookie sheet and then on a preheated 400 F (200 C) barbecue. Cover barbecue and cook ribs one hour. Open centre of packages, leaving ends sealed to allow liquid to cook off. Once liquid has reduced and the ribs are “fall off the bone tender,” remove ribs from foil and brown at reduced heat of 325 F (180 C) on the barbecue, turning as needed, about 10 to 15 minutes. Don’t over cook because ribs will dry out.

The difference between side and back ribs

Back ribs come from the back of the animal, adjacent to the loin, and are attached to the backbone. These ribs have the highest proportion of meat to bone, and some consider them more tasty and tender than side ribs. They may be more expensive.

Side, sweet and sour, and spare ribs are all the same, except sweet and sour ribs are cut into shorter lengths. These ribs lie against the belly, where bacon comes from, and are attached to the breastbone.

Grilled Asparagus

This is an easy vegetable to serve with the ribs while the grill is hot. Wash and dry fresh asparagus and then lightly coat with one teaspoon (5 mL) of canola oil. Place on a hot barbecue and grill until grill marks appear. Then turn and cook until tender. Lightly season with salt. Serve immediately.

Lemon Pie

This recipe is a family favourite from Nanny’s cookbook, my paternal grandmother. My niece, Rowen Flood, and I made this recipe for her grandfather’s birthday. The original recipe, which is probably 100 years old, has been adjusted because the “large spoonful of cornstarch” was not sufficient to thicken the filling.
It is interesting to note that in the original recipe the butter measurement was “butter the size of a walnut.”

  • 1 lemon, grated and juiced, about 1/4 c lemon juice 60 mL
  • 1/4 c. cornstarch 60 mL
  • 3/4 c. white sugar 175 mL
  • 2 tbsp. butter 30 mL
  • 1 c. hot water 250 mL
  • 2 eggs, separated, save whites for meringue, >beat egg yolks
  • 1 pie shell

Use a frozen pie shell or use the recipe provided. Prick the pie shell and bake in a 400 F oven for seven to 10 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Filling: The original recipe recommended cooking in a double boiler. I have found that it cooks well in the microwave in a large microwavable bowl.
Combine the lemon juice, grated lemon, cornstarch and sugar, mix, add butter and hot water and stir until butter melts. Place in microwave and cook on high for two minute intervals until thickened. Stir every two minutes. Cook about 10 minutes in total, depending on the power of the microwave.
Once thickened, remove from heat and stir in beaten egg yolks until well blended. Cool slightly and then pour into cooled, baked pie crust.
Set aside to cool while meringue is prepared.

Never Fail Pie Crust

  • 3 c. flour 750 mL
  • 1 tsp. salt 5 mL
  • 1 1/2 c. vegetable shortening 375 mL
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. white vinegar 15 mL
  • 1/3 c. ice cold water 75 mL
  • plus 1–2 tsp. extra water if needed 5–10 mL

Mix together the flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, mix in shortening until texture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix together egg, vinegar and water. Pour into flour mixture and gently mix with a fork.
Shake the bowl and remove the large pieces of dough. Add a little more water if needed and stir with fork to form the rest of dough.
Press dough pieces together. Place between two pieces of wax paper and roll into a circle. Transfer to pie plate.

Grandma’s Meringue

This is my mother’s recipe.

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar 2 mL
  • 1/3 c. white sugar 75 mL

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar to form stiff but moist peaks. Continue beating while adding sugar slowly. Beat until stiff and shiny. Gently swirl meringue onto lemon filling and touch meringue to crust to prevent shrinking.
Bake in a 375 F (180 C) oven until tips of the meringue are golden brown, about 12 minutes. Cool at room temperature.

Betty Ann Deobald is a home economist from Rosetown, Sask., and a member of Team Resources. Contact:

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