The Excellent Adventures of Kim and Kev

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A Fourth of July Celebration For Two

Last year we went all out. We had a shindig, a hootenanny, a hoe-down. We grilled out, we played games, we watched fireworks. And people came from miles around. To celebrate the Fourth with us.

This year we couldn't seem to pull it together. Our schedules are busier. Our families all had out of town plans. We did have friends eager to come over - but ultimately, we decided to just take the year off and relax. Truth be told we (me and Kev) haven't had a single "hang out by the pool and relax" day AT ALL this year.

What a tragedy!

Seriously, though. I have been swimming once. ONCE - and it is July 4th!. And it was for a short time because it started to rain. Last year was a whole different story. You couldn't keep us out of the pool. We had goggles permanently attached to our faces. And flippers permanently attached to our hands.

It didn't go over too good at work.

And the flippers attached to our hands.... and NOT feet.... is because it is so much easier to get around the pool when you are floating in a raft if you have flippers on. Except for it is almost impossible to pick up your drink that is conveniently nestled inside your raft. But that is what our squirrels are for. Since we stopped taking acorns as payment for rent... they have to work for it. By doing odd jobs around the house. Like lifting a tropical drink up to my mouth.

It is just the way we like to do things around here.

So, it is just the two of us. Emphasis on the word TWO. And it is a major holiday that involves a major food extravaganza. And I DO NOT know how to cook for just TWO people. But I'm going to do everything that I can to restrain myself and shop conservatively.

The above statement was actually what I repeated to myself over and over and over... as I walked around the grocery store.

And then I came home with this.....

Behold - the cast of characters for our Fourth of July eating frenzy!

Our menu consisted of:
4 lbs of pork ribs
1 lb of firecracker shrimp
baked beans ( don't judge me! Bush's makes the BEST! This is another thing I leave to the pros)
grilled pineapple
potato salad
french bread
blueberry pineapple crunch cake
and pina coladas

Ok- so I was thinking ahead. I was making sure we would have plenty of food for the next week... or next couple of days.... yeah. That's the ticket.

The plans for pork rib grilling started with this book.....

I got it for Kev - from Williams Sonoma - for Father's Day. Yes, Father's Day. Because he is a father to plants and wildlife. Get off my back! Anyway, he had grilled plenty of steaks, chicken and burgers and wanted to try some new things. Let me just say that this book is fabulous. It tells you every detail of everything you ever needed to know about grilling... and then some. Like what eye shadow to wear with your royal blue sweater. And you would be surprised because the answer is NOT royal blue as most of you would assume.

Maybe it is just me that assumes that.

Anyway, we opted to try the Memphis Style BBQ ribs. And um... before I jump ahead and tell you the outcome. Let me just say that the rub is FANTASTIC. I mixed up a ton of spices and literally rubbed it in to the meat. Then let it marinate for four hours.

Then having most of my part of the meal complete. I went outside and played "diving for pool rings to see how many you can get before you run out of breath". I'm pretty good at it. Unless Kev is in the pool and we have to fight for rings. Under water. Roller Derby style.

Oh... and I just wanted to point out Kev in the picture. In case you didn't recognize him. He is the small gray shark with the neon green shades on. The one hanging out by my arm. Trying to steal a ring. I got his gray shark swimsuit at the flea market. The shades were some he already owned.

And then the BBQing began.......

The ribs cooked for THREE hours on the grill. Yum.... they look so good.....
And then he brought them in and basted them with a spicy BBQ sauce I picked up at the grocery store. It is called Stubb's sauce. It had a picture of the man who makes it on the front. I figured that meant it was good.... because I always imagine putting my picture on things that I make and like.

And yes. It is ok to cook and eat topless when it is only the two of you around. That rule goes for both of us. Don't make me feel awkward about it.

And then there were these delicious beauties......

They are called Firecracker Shrimp. Due to the fact that they taste like Firecrackers going off in your mouth. I got the incredible recipe from The Pioneer Woman ( who can be accessed from my blog home page). This woman NEVER disappoints. I have officially decided to ask her to adopt me. Move me out to Oklahoma. And teach me everything that she knows.

And who ever thought that grilled pineapple was a good idea? Because they deserve an award of "grilled pineapple is a great idea and thanks for coming up with it". That is a real award. I've seen it at the flea market. The same place where I got Kev's swim suit.

Now is the part where I tell you that I. OFFICIALLY. HAD. THE. BEST. MEAL. EVER!! Those ribs just melted in your mouth. They were perfect. Perfectly delicious. D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S!
(Putting periods in between words and letters helps me to emphasize my dramatics for how wonderful something is)

And the shrimp, beans, potato salad, bread, watermelon...... all I.N.C.R.E.D.I.B.L.E!!
Amongst "high - fives" and german handshakes... we decided that preparing a meal together has become our new favorite past-time.
Right behind "diving for pool rings to see how many you can get before running out of breath".
I officially got the meat sweats. Which isn't pretty if you have ever seen it. And if you can restrain yourself when you are eating delicious pork ribs and shrimp.... you never will see it.
I expect to see it many, many more times in my lifetime.
That's how I roll.
I couldn't even eat dessert. A dessert that Kev specially requested. And just in case you don't know.... when someone "specially requests" something that you make. You make it. Because it is an honor.
And easy.
At least the dessert he chose was. It is seriously the easiest thing I have ever made. Except for a Lean Cuisine. It was so easy, in fact, that I made a squirrel do it. Because he owed me. And I went about my business. It was the blueberry pineapple crunch cake that I have made several times this summer. It is a Paula Deen recipe - my other cooking hero.
Sorry - no picture of dessert because I was sweating. Meat.
We ended the day by listening to( and seeing a little of) the firework showdown in the town of Gaston. It was a "neighborhood" competition put on by Bubba, Chet, Tiny, and Hillybilly Joe. They go all out. And I love it.
I hope all of you had an amazing Fourth of July!!!!!

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