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?
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.
Sticky Pork Ribs with Honeyed Plum Sauce
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.
Want to keep in touch? Join the fun on the Hotly Spiced Facebook page!