Things are looking up: homemade barbecue sauce!

It’s getting warmer, although still cloudy, and we’re barbecuing today. We made a barbecue sauce:

  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 2 t. chopped garlic
  • 1 c. ketchup
  • 1/4 c. vinegar
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar
  • 1 T. paprika
  • 1 T. chili powder
  • 1/2 t. instant espresso powder or 1 t. instant coffee
  • 2 t. soy sauce

(If I had agave syrup I’d use it in this. But I don’t have any here.) We sizzled the garlic briefly in the olive oil, added everything else and simmered it for 10 minutes or so then turned the heat off and let it cool.

We rubbed skinless chicken thighs and a pork tenderloin with rub made with a mixture of :

  • 1 T. garlic salt
  • 1 T. paprika
  • 1 T. chili powder
  • 2 t. dried thyme
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 1 t. black pepper
  • 1 t. ground coriander

My main goal in Bowser is to get some good uninterrupted reading done and I haven’t been here quite long enough for the uninterrupted part to happen, especially as there aren’t any other kids here so my girls are looking to me to entertain them, or at least turn off the TV and point them outside. But I’ve managed to get through Paul Theroux’s new novel, Murder at Mount Holly, Camilla Lackberg’s The Ice Princess, and Justin Halpern’s I Suck at Girls.

I’m loving Swedish authors – like everyone else! I was reading Henning Mankell for ages, and then of course the Stieg Larsson novels…then I got into John Ajvide Lindqvist, who wrote Let The Right One In that was made into a very spooky and unusual vampire movie. His take on the undead in Handling the Dead is fairly awesome too; not your usual zombie horror story. I love commonsense treatment of these horror-fiction staples. Lindqvist’s vampire suffers – he/she/it (it’s never quite clear) is truly limited by the vampire’s physical limitations and it’s clear that she’s at a disadvantage in the human world. So unlike the majority of vampires in popular fiction, like Anne Rice’s Lestat and Co., and of course the Twilight vampires who are vegetarians by vampire standards, drive great cars, dress well, and are essentially superheroes. They’re just so awesome, right? Who wouldn’t want to be one of them? What’s the downside, really? Nothing a little therapy couldn’t handle. Anyway, no Twilight ranting here because I’m meant to be talking about Swedish authors. I’ve just sampled Camilla Lackberg – The Ice Princess – and I didn’t find the writing as absorbing as Henning Mankell or Stieg Larsson although it was a good mystery novel. And of course I’m reading Astrid Lindgren’s Emil books to the girls. We love Emil! Although he’s mostly out of print, alas; I had to find ex-library copies through….

Justin Halpern I LOVE. So funny. His dad is one cantankerous foulmouthed character but his remarks to his son are pithy and wise, if delivered in a hilariously crude fashion. He’s gross, but he’s right. I love that he’s a doctor, too. I adore incongruities. Although I’m puzzled as to why they cast William Shatner in this role (I haven’t seen the TV series, mind) – I totally see Philip Baker Hall for this. He does cranky so well. I guess he’s already doing cranky old guy for Modern Family. But William Shatner’s so jolly. I should probably watch it first before making this knee-jerk judgment! But he’s really jolly, right?

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