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Pat’s Pantry: A country-style meal

By Pat Mills

Nothing is more country than tender ribs, fluffy biscuits and chocolate pie.  Set out extra napkins for these barbecued ribs in a thick and tangy sauce. How about a chocolate pie that has no milk or eggs? It will be a family favorite. – Pat

Barbecued spareribs

6 pounds pork spareribs cut into serving-size pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 cup water
1 cup ketchup
3  tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a large skillet, brown ribs in batches in oil. Place ribs, bone side down, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Meanwhile, in a skillet, sauté onion and celery in butter until tender. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10-12 minutes or until slightly thickened. Drain ribs; brush with some of the sauce. Bake, uncovered 1 hour longer or until the meat is tender, brushing frequently with remaining sauce.  Yield: 6 servings.

Fluffy biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
3 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoons salt
½ cup shortening
1 egg
2/3 cup milk

In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Cut in shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, beat egg and milk; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Turn onto a well-floured surface; knead 20 times. Roll to ¾ in.  Thickness; cut with a 2-½ in. biscuit cutter. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. Yield: 1 dozen.

Old-fashioned chocolate pie

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup baking cocoa
¼ cup all-purpose flour
pinch salt
2¼ cups water
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pastry shell (9 in), baked
whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cocoa, flour and salt; gradually add water. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in butter and vanilla. Pour into pastry shell. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours before slicing. Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Carrot broccoli casserole

1 package (16 oz) baby carrots
1-½ pounds fresh broccoli, chopped or 2 packages (10 oz each) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
8 ounces of process cheese (Velveeta), cubed
¾ cup butter or margarine, divided
1-¾ cups crushed butter-flavored crackers (about 40 crackers)

Place 1-in of water in a saucepan; add carrots. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5-8 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add broccoli, cover and simmer 6-8 minutes longer or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Drain and set aside. In a small saucepan, cook and stir the cheese and ¼ cup butter until smooth. Stir in the broccoli and carrots until combined. Melt the remaining butter; toss with cracker crumbs, sprinkle a third of the mixture in a greased 2-½ qt. baking dish. Top with half of the vegetables mixture. Repeat layers. Sprinkle with the remaining crumb mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 6-8 servings.

FOOD FACTS

• Apples will store for a longer period it they do not touch one another.
• If cut up greens need to be crisped up, place them in the freezer in a metal bowl for 5-10 minutes. If they are wet, remember to place an inverted small saucer on the bottom to drain off the excess liquid.

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