Long weekends. There is something magical about an extra day off.
The morning was spent sitting outside with a cup of coffee and a cat on my lap. I watched the neighbours pack their campers and trailers and haul their homes-away-from-home down the road to go camping. I’m happy for them. The camping life has never held any kind of enticement for me. The street fell silent. I closed my eyes and listened.
The breeze moved the leaves in the Ornamental Cherry Tree back and forth. I opened my eyes to see a hummingbird pay a visit to the feeder then move to the hanging basket on the eave. Daisy lifted her head at the sound of the hummingbird, but closed her eyes again and went back to sleep as she knows she can’t catch them. They are simply too fast. The sound of buzzing caught my ear and I spotted the largest, fuzziest bee lumbering around in the rose bush to my left. It seemed to be stumbling around in the flower as if drunk. His legs were coated yellow in pollen and he floated to the next flower to sample its wares. He flew away, heavily weighted with the mornings collection. It looked as if he was wearing bright yellow jodhpurs. The sights and sounds of summer were in full effect and I had a front-row seat.
Dinner. It always comes down to that doesn’t it?
I had an idea of what I felt like making, but needed some barbecue sauce. This is probably the most personal preference condiment around. Just look at all the varieties on the grocery store shelf.
Some folks like thick and sticky, some like it hot and make your forehead break out in a sweat and some prefer a honeyed taste. Mine is a straight forward version that works on everything from chicken and ribs to burgers and as a topping on meatloaf. This comes together really quickly with stuff you probably have on hand. Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients.
- 1 large can of plain stewed tomatoes (28 oz)
- 1 can of tomato paste (6 oz)
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup coconut aminos
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (I use Kasandrinos)
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, ground (I use a mortar and pestle)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)
Put everything in a large saucepan on the stove. Whisk to combine and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and continue simmering for 5 minutes. Use right away or keep in the fridge for up to 3 months.
Note: when this sauce is warmed, the “heat” factor definitely moves up a notch.