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You Are Awesome!

The other morning I didn’t want Alfie to be late for school (again) so I was rushing him and standing at the front door yelling, ‘Come on, you don’t want to be late, get your bag on your back, let’s go’.  But he was stuffing around in the kitchen doing who knows what yelling back at me, ‘I’m just doing something’, so by the time we left the house I was telling him off for being sloppy and it was a very brisk walk with Alfie having to take little running steps now and then to keep up.

I dropped him at the classroom door giving my, ‘I’m very sorry’ smile to the teacher then hurried home annoyed that yet again he was the only one late that day.  How is it that all other mothers have resounding success at making sure their children are at school before the bell?

Sticky Pork Ribs with Honeyed Plum Sauce

I walked in through the front door and headed down to the kitchen.  I saw a piece of A4 paper lying on the kitchen bench and when I went over to it, there were words written on it in beginner’s handwriting that said, ‘Who is the most awesome person in the world?  You!!!’  And he’d drawn a little smiling face.  I couldn’t believe it.  This little guy that I was rushing to get to school on time and telling him off for ‘stuffing around’ and making him have to take little running steps as I charged forth towards the school had been in the kitchen writing me a note about how ‘awsome’ I am.

It was very unexpected, I mean, it’s not even Mother’s Day, and I was very touched.

I wanted Alfie to know how much I loved the note so I sent the following email to his teacher:

‘I just walked into the kitchen and Alfie left this note for me on the kitchen bench, ‘Who is the most awesome person in the world?  You!!!’  Could you please let him know I got his lovely note and that I was very touched and that he has made me very happy.’

A few hours later an email came back from the teacher that said:

‘I just said to him, “Mum says thanks for your lovely note” and he said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about”.’

Because the thing is, Alfie hadn’t been writing me a note.  He had as I thought, been stuffing around trying to type something on to his i-Pod touch and to make sure he spelled it all correctly (he got ‘awesome’ wrong) he wrote it out on a piece of paper.  He didn’t leave that note specifically on the kitchen bench for me to find, he just forgot to clean up his mess.

I crashed with a thud.

But for a few hours that day I was really happy.

Comfort food!

Sticky Pork Ribs with Honeyed Plum Sauce

Serves:  4

Degree of Difficulty:  2/5

Cost:  I was actually surprised at how expensive the ribs were because I paid $26.00/kg so it cost around $40.00 to feed the family and I realised I have cooked equally as good food for half this price.

  • 1 1/2kg (3 lb) American-style baby back pork spare ribs
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 small knob ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tspn five-spice powder
  • 2 tbspns honey
  • 2 tbspns soy sauce
  • 1 tbspn dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbspns Shaoxing wine
  • 1/2 cup (125ml/4 fl oz) Chinese-style plum sauce
  • 2 tspns sesame oil
  • 2 tbspns toasted sesame seeds  (I used black sesame seeds)
  • 2 green spring onions, including some of the green part, thinly sliced

Pre-heat oven to 200C (400F)

Cut ribs into individual pieces and steam in a bamboo steamer over a wok full of boiling water or in a Chinese tiered aluminium steamer for 30 minutes.  Transfer the ribs to a shallow baking tray.  (I don’t have a bamboo steamer so I cooked them in a colander over a saucepan of steaming water with a lid over the colander). 

In a saucepan, combine the garlic, ginger, five-spice powder, honey, soy sauces, Shaoxing wine, plum sauce and sesame oil.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.  Pour over the ribs and toss well to coat.

Place ribs in a preheated oven and bake, turning every 10 minutes until the ribs are golden brown and just starting to char on the edges.  This will take about 30-45 minutes.  If the sauce starts to stick and burn during the cooking, just add a little water to the pan.

Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with the sesame seeds and green spring onions.

Serve with rice and steamed greens.

This recipe is from Spirit House, Essentially Thai.

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  1. Minnesota Prairie Roots says:

    This begs the question: To whom was the message sent? So glad, though, that it made you happy for several hours.

  2. Chopinandmysaucepan says:

    Dear Charlie,

    Alfie might have a “girlfriend” for all you know. $26/kg sounds pretty expensive for ribs coz rib eye steaks are around $28/kg in the supermarkets. From memory, American style ribs at Asian butchers are around $16/kg. All said, your ribs look awesome and I would love to pair the sweetness with a nice plummy pinot.

  3. The range of emotions from the cheers of victory to the agony of defeat. Nonetheless, please pass the ribs.

  4. Awe. You are awesome to me! Nice feeling, while it lasted ;-)!
    I was at a pool party on the weekend with a group of friends we see 2-3 times a year. My friend MiMi brought a delicious salad; I was sitting beside her son, eating this lovely salad I said to Camy, “Your mom makes an awesome salad.” To this, Camy responded, “My mom makes awesome everything.” So sweet.
    I marvel at why ribs are so darn expensive on this side of the pond too…after all, they are just bones. Your recipe would be wonderful at a summer BBQ on our dock or even back deck.
    Eva http://kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com

  5. A_Boleyn says:

    A bit of a let down after getting that lovely glow of a mother appreciated by her youngest. Oh well … one day he WILL write you an even better note or wash your kitchen floors when he comes over for a visit as my nephew did recently. 🙂

    I’m clearing out my pantry/freezer and not buying any new jars of ingredients or I’d be rushing out to get the ribs etc to make this as it looks SO delicious. I bet it would also taste marvelously on chicken wings. Maybe some boneless thighs cut into 2 or 3 portions. You’re giving me so many ideas. 🙂

  6. Victoria at Flavors of the Sun says:

    Awwwww…just as I said it, I crashed too as I read your story. Then laughed. That is just so preciously typical of kids. And I bet, in his heart, Alfie knows you are awesome. Probably the most awesome mother in his class. What fascinates me in all this is that you can actually email his teacher durin school and receive a reply. What an amazing world of communication we live in! Amazing!

    The ribs look fabulous…

  7. Oh dear oh dear – well, I’m sure he does think you’re awesome… it’s just not cool to say it 🙂

  8. niasunset says:

    You made me laugh my dear Charlie… you are amazing. BUT I am sure he knows how awesome his mother too… Thank you dear, love, nia

  9. Jed Gray (sportsglutton) says:

    Oh that is tough Charlie. However, know that there are people out there that don’t simply think your awesome, but pretty cool as well. Keep on rocking us with your writing and recipes!


  10. Ahh, the boy is just shy to say that you are awesome!!!
    Honey plum sauce sounds pretty amazing..

  11. I’m not sure if I want to laugh or cry Charlie. That sounds like something my Mr. N would do as well. He used to leave me notes like that…then they grow up. 😉 And don’t ask me how people get anywhere on time with kids. I’m still working that one out. This recipe sounds fabulous – and looks it too. 🙂

  12. Don’t let it throw you, darls. You ARE awesome. 🙂

  13. Minnie@thelady8home says:

    Oh oh!! And trust the boy to own up he didn’t write the note either…never politically correct are they. But you are awesome :)) And he knows it.

  14. Hi,
    What a disappointment that would of been for you. But then again maybe he did right that for you but didn’t want others to know about it.
    I love pork ribs and these sound delicious.

  15. InTolerantChef says:

    Don’t worry Charlie, we all know the truth- that you really ARE awesome! But I want to know who he was sending the note too then? My littlej is banned from her Omnitrix (so called because it seems permanently attatched tother hand at all times) in the morning, but still manages to sneak a peak or two. She chooses to call it ‘multi tasking’ 🙂
    Those ribs sound great but definitely expensive. I was caught out this week when I went to buy goat ribs/flap and the girl at the till was unsure what to charge. They ended up being $10kg when I usually pay about $4 or so. Very expensive meal that one!

  16. Hmm, now I am curious who the note / message was going to – surely the person it was couldn’t have been more awesome than you, with your efforts at getting him to school and cleaning up the messes and making dinners like this!

  17. Yudith @ Blissfully Delicious says:

    That plum sauce must be tasty!! Thanks for sharing!

  18. ChgoJohn says:

    What a roller coaster of a morning, Charlie! Maybe Alfie was just too embarrassed to admit to the teacher that he wrote the note. Yeah, that’s it.
    Your ribs sound terrific but dang, they’re expensive! I’d no idea.

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Hi John, I spoke to the butcher about the price of the ribs this morning. Mind you, when I decided to buy them it was pouring with rain and I didn’t shop around, I just went to the closest butcher. He said they have become trendy and so have shot up in price like lamb shanks and beef cheeks. I would have to say that unless you can purchase the ribs for about half what I paid, this dish isn’t really worth it. But let me know if you do make them and what you had to pay for the ribs! xx

  19. I’m going to go with the theory that he just didn’t want to be embarrassed in front of the teacher. Of course you’re awesome, especially when you make dinner like this!

  20. Juliet Batten says:

    Oh what ups and downs! But maybe he unconsciously did intend it for you, it’s just that at his age it’s probably not cool to do it directly.

  21. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    Awww Charlie! I bet he means it, but just doesn’t really express it 🙂

  22. Im sure he was a little hesistant to admit it my friend wwith the teacher around, of course your awesome! 😀
    For one thing, you cook like a pro!


  23. tania@mykitchenstories.com.au says:

    What a let down.and how exausting…… you’re up then you’re down. Thats life with kids really. Love your ribs!

  24. Mandy - The Complete Cook Book says:

    Even if the note was not meant for you, it gives me the opportunity to say I think you are awesome!
    And Sticky Pork Ribs with Honeyed Plum Sauce sound heavenly!
    🙂 Mandy

  25. MMMMM,…What a grand & tasty recipe which I love! Yummm!

  26. Ha! Well, I certainly think you’re awesome and just because Alfie didn’t write the note to you, I’m pretty sure he thinks you’re awesome too. 😉

    The ribs look amazing! But not as awesome as you!! LOL

  27. He’s just a shy kid I guess. you are Awesome, I know that, keep going Charlie, you rock!

  28. How funny! It makes me think of the emails I’ve composed and then sent to the wrong people. It can be very awkward…so I guess we should refer to everyone as “awesome” just to be safe! Debra http://www.breathelighter.wordpress.com

  29. What a sweet & sad story … so cute 🙂

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Thanks CJ. I’m over crying about it now and can actually laugh. Perhaps I’ll get a nice card on Mother’s Day! xx

  30. yummychunklet says:

    That honeyed plum sauce sounds delicious!

  31. Carol @ Always Thyme to Cook says:

    Cute story! I bet when he got home and had those ribs he was thinking how awesome you are 🙂 They look fantastic!

  32. Home remedies for hair growth

    Aww. I thought your kid was so sweet but no he is clever. I bet when he came back and taste those
    Sticky Pork Ribs with Honeyed Plum Sauce he’ll say that your really are awesome.

  33. OMG!!! my mouth watering just by looking at the photo…

  34. American-style pork ribs have been very expensive lately, which is strange because pork otherwise has been very cheap! Maybe sub in some loose spare ribs instead?

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