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How to Grill Pork Ribs and Other Stress-Related Matters
By Matthew Kaplan
Growing up, my family was never big on throwing parties or having any sort of social get-together at our house. It is not as if my parents were not social, it is just that they always went over to other people's homes for any social arrangement.
For some reason, something changed in my mother's head one day. When I was about 14 years old, my mother declared to our family that we were going to have a barbecue at our house. As a surly teenager, I was not particularly excited about the concept, but I was also intrigued. Could my parents even pull it off?
The night before the barbecue, my mother came home with what looked like an entire pig. While at the grocery store, she decided the party would have a luau theme. In her hands were armfuls of leis, pineapples and enough pork to feed all of Hawaii. She brought back cuts of pork I have yet to see again.
As the hour of our guests' arrival drew nearer, it became painfully clear that my parents were woefully under-prepared. My father kept having to run back to the store to pick up another forgotten item. My mother furiously paced around the kitchen, cooking appetizers and preparing the house. While my parents were frantic, I wanted to retreat into my room. My mother had other plans.
“Matthew, I need you to grill the meat,” she yelled at me.
“What? I don't know how to grill pork ribs,” I yelled back. “I don't even know how to cook pork ribs. How long does it take to grill pork ribs?”
“Figure it out.”
Now I was as frantic as my parents. I searched the house and eventually found a cookbook with a quick grilling guide. I saw we had pork chops, pork loin and pork ribs. I fired up the grill and started cooking up some baby backs. My father returned, and I started peppering him with grilling questions.
“How long do I cook pork chops on the grill?” I asked.
“Not now, I'm busy,” he replied.
My father left again before I could say anything else. I was stuck with the cookbook, so I decided to pick some recipes that sounded good and hope for the best. I began grilling up some easy plum-glazed pork kebabs with the pork loin and some grilled pork chops with cinnamon-apple relish.
By the time I was done, our guests had been in our house for two hours are were ravenously hungry. I could not tell if it was because everyone was hungry or if I actually succeeded, but everybody loved my grilled pork recipes.
Now, cooking pork ribs is easy and grilling pork loin is a cakewalk. I now enjoy making those same grilled pork recipes, because any pork grilling experience is stress-free compared to my first endeavor.