You'll need a few extra napkins with dinner tonight

I didn't plan to make icky, sticky, yummy ribs for dinner last night. I'd actually planned to make steak and double baked potatoes. Until I went into my freezer for steak, saw I had one simmering steak (no idea why one, or why the simmering kind), then saw a package of short ribs underneath it. Spareribs sounded so much better than steak all of a sudden, and didn't require me to bbq in the rain or snow.

I seriously considered making my grandmother's sweet and sour sauce again. Afterall, it is a family favorite that everyone loves, I can make it with my eyes closed, and it is nearly foolproof. With a cold coming on, I wasn't up for anything complicated. But I'd made it recently and wasn't sure if I had any pinapple. Honey garlic was next on my list, mostly because I had a jar of prepared sauce in the pantry. Premade sauce didn't appeal much either, though the honey garlic part still did. So I made my own.

I wanted more control over the ribs than simply making a sauce, pouring it over them and throwing it in the oven, but I didn't want to have to hover. Which is why, I think, I decided to pull out my big electric frying pan with the nice domed lid. I could start the sauce in the pan, add the ribs, and keep an eye on them as they baked with the closed lid, stirring frequently without loosing all the heat.

Honey garlic sauce is fairly easy to make. Equal parts of honey and soya sauce, add in garlic to the strength you want, mix it well to make sure the honey is melted into the soy, pour it on whatever you are making. Sometimes I measure. Sometimes I don't. Today was an I don't day. I added a generous amount of honey to the hot pan, then added in the soy and mixed them together, watching them sizzle and foam. The kitchen smelled instantly wonderful. Knowing garlic mellows as it cooks, I wanted lots of garlic going in, and I wanted it in early enough that it would add its flavor into the sauce early in the cooking. The picture on the left is the sauce just as I've thrown in the rough chopped garlic.

After making sure everything was mixed well, and tasting the sauce just in case I needed to adjust preportions (I did, I needed more honey), I added in the cut up short ribs, made sure they were all coated, turned down the heat and put the lid on. This gave me lots of time to make some rice in the steamer and prepare some asparagus for roasting.

The ribs came out tender, ooey, gooey and very, very good. Clean up was easy as there were no baked on bits of sauce and garlic in a caserole dish, and there were plenty of napkins available when licking sauce off the fingers weren't appropriate.

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