A Gnawing Question....

Double Chili Cheeseburger
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2007/10/01 13:48:04 (permalink)

A Gnawing Question....

It seems to me that the style of BBQing ribs and the term BBQ has gone through an evolution in about the last two decades. Smoking and the sauces, rubs and preparation has changed from how I first encountered them as a kid.
Case in point, in the early-mid 60's, mom would make them using Saucy Susan, a peach and apricot (Duck) sauce. We loved them that way.
Yet when mom sent us to my grandmother with a batch of raw ones to cook for us for dinner, she threw them in the trash saying that they weren't fit for dogs!!! We were in shock and very dissapointed. Hey, if I can still remember this now, you can only guess how traumatized we were then.

As time went on, we discovered other ways to eat them. We would cook them in a plastic bag product from Schilling or McCormick with what now would be considered a Gawdawfull bad mix of seasonings.
Other ways we would make them would be with a teriyaki sauce.
Eventually we went to BBQ sauce in the bottle, but at that time, it was either Hunt's or Kraft.
It didn't matter what we put on them, as they were always pre-boiled in the oven in a covered roasting pan. I was doing this until the mid 90's. Even professionally I would do this, but at least I would put grill marks on them before doing this procedure. To me, BBQ meant cooking ribs with a BBQ sauce on top.
I married a girl from Memphis and she set me straight. I know better now.

So here is my question, what is your earliest experience with ribs and the term BBQ. Anyone eat them with sweet and sour, sauerkraut (Dagwood Bumstead's favorite..) or what?


11 Replies Related Threads

    mayor al
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    RE: A Gnawing Question.... 2007/10/01 14:00:00 (permalink)

    Stepping away from the grilled-smoked outdoor versions, my memory is of the Czech/German dish my Grandmother did with Caroway Seed and Sauerkraut or sweet/sour Cabbage, and oven cooked in a closed roasting pan to keep the moisture in.
    Another 'flavor' was my Mother's Pork Ribs, oven-done in a closed pan, but with lots of liquid bbq 'sauce' and citrus slices. Mother called this her "Hawaiian Ribs". When I say a lot of liquid I mean at least an inch deep in the pan, covering the Ribs. Cooked for several hours, and hard to keep them whole when removed from the pan.
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
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    RE: A Gnawing Question.... 2007/10/01 14:27:27 (permalink)
    My earliest experience with BBQ and ribs was when I was about 4 years old. My dad would leave my brother, mother and me in the car (locked, of course) to wait while he would go into Arthur Bryant's to get carry out. We did that on a regular basis for years.

    I do remember stopping at a place near Warsaw, Mo. when I was about 8, to pick up ribs and brisket to take to a weekend at the Lake of the Ozarks. I remember it was very different than ABs, much sweeter. My brother and I thought the ribs were the best thing we'd tasted.

    My mom would make short ribs with sauerkraut, potatoes and carrots. There were very good. When I was much older she would make oven baked bbq ribs. Never liked those much.

    Double Chili Cheeseburger
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    RE: A Gnawing Question.... 2007/10/01 15:11:40 (permalink)
    Al-The-Mayor-Bowen,my mom made her ribs like your grandmother.
    Momma would put saurkraut,potatoes and apples with the spareribs,and just salt and pepper them.Which she did most of the time.
    Or she baked the spareribs with a little water in the pan,and then later pour Kraft or other BBQ sauce on them,and continue to bake until very tender.
    Thanks for the wonderful memory you brought back to mind on her birthday today.Wish she was still here.
    Junior Burger
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    RE: A Gnawing Question.... 2007/10/23 13:12:06 (permalink)
    I remember from a very early age seeing a pork shoulder or ham hanging from a chain on a tree limb above a fire on the ground. All that was needed was a stick to turn the meat around. Other times there was an old cinder block grocery out on old Highway 41 between Perry & Unadilla Georgia. Dennard's Grocery. That was some good Q. It had just the right amount of heat to take your breath on that first bite. He had an open pit on the front of his store & an old black man named P.I. cooking the meat. His mop was just vinegar, salt & cayenne. You had to smell it when you went through the front door & more than likely bought a sandwich or two while you were in there. Alas the place burned down many years ago. Something about the pit catching the store on fire.
    Never had a sweet sauce until I traveled to the west & midwest.
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    RE: A Gnawing Question.... 2007/10/23 13:30:22 (permalink)
    Mark, where did you grow up?

    If we had ribs they were either spareribs or country ribs and my mom usually baked them in the oven in a covered porcelainized roasting pan. IIRC she would sprinkle them with salt, pepper, and flour and they'd develop a golden crust, but I never cared for them. I don't recall ever having them while eating out, but in the Rockford IL/WI stateline area back then barbecue was pretty much unknown to my family. I might've had some pork ribs at some point prior but the first ones I ever ate that I really remember were at Rendezvous in Memphis in May, 1998.

    I can't remember for sure if we ever had beef ribs when I was a kid but my first commercial exposure to them came at Stuart Anderson's Cattle Company in Des Moines, Iowa in the fall of 1981. They probably were grilled and not barbecued, but were still pretty good.

    Double Cheeseburger
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    RE: A Gnawing Question.... 2007/10/23 17:11:33 (permalink)
    I remember as far back as mid to late 60s they would be either on the pit, not smoked, on charcoal. They were dry and tough. Or on top of the stove slow cooked in adobo.

    Double Chili Cheeseburger
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    RE: A Gnawing Question.... 2007/10/24 12:22:55 (permalink)
    My first memory of eating ribs were spareribs baked in the over and a bottle of barbeque sauce poured over them.

    Now I have Dreamland in my town (aren't I lucky)!
    mayor al
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    RE: A Gnawing Question.... 2007/10/24 12:39:14 (permalink)

    I do recall that (back in the 70's or so...) Sizzler had AYCE Beef Ribs for $8. The ribs were pretty meaty, but drowned in what I would now label as Kraft BBQ Sauce. I "usta could" do a lot of damage to the rib inventory when that offer was on the menu. My sons and I would use one large plate for the bones, and like some of the empty beer can pyramids we've seen, they became a sight to behold as a centerpiece to our table. The doggy bags kept the pooches happy for a long time. That was a Long Time Ago, In a World that is now History!
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
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    RE: A Gnawing Question.... 2007/10/24 12:46:26 (permalink)
    SassyGrits, thanks for admitting it.

    Growing up in the North in the 60s, barbecue was burgers on the grill.

    Ribs were baked on the broiler rack in the oven, one of my Yankee Mom's nods to her Southern Step-Father and certainly not something the Jews 'n Talians in our neighborhood would feed to anyone but a dog.

    Usually they were made with bottled barbecue sauce, but sometimes we'd make our own from a recipe in Good Housekeeping. And I do remember ribs, pork roast and ham with that duck sauce stuff. There was also a bright red cherry based one, it may have been Ah-So brand but I'm not sure.
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    RE: A Gnawing Question.... 2007/10/24 12:59:28 (permalink)
    hey doggydaddy - thanks for stirring up a good memory...Saucy Susan was THE condiment growing up in my mom's house...she made beef ribs with it - i loved the way the little bits of peach and apricot would carmelize under the broiler!
    Double Cheeseburger
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    RE: A Gnawing Question.... 2007/10/24 13:15:35 (permalink)
    Sadly, I remember pork ribs being boiled then put into the oven swimming in some kind of barbecue sauce. Eew, I was glad we didn't have them often.
    These days we have baby backs with a light rub, occasionally sprayed with a liquid potion that's a secret, and then smoked to perfection.
    After they're taken off the grill they're sprinkled with Rendezvous seasoning. I wish we had them every week.
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