Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Perfect food for the festive season?
Call the Mummy-helpline!

November 23rd is date of the biggest event of the American calendar - the Thanksgiving dinner. As darkness falls, millions of husbands sons and daughters gather around the table for the traditional roasted turkey with stuffing and cranberry Sauce, and all its different side dishes. Many of us, however, prevented to travel to our homes, have to struggle by ourselves in order to reconstruct the wonderful traditional meals our mothers prepared so easily. And who do we turn to? The Mummy-helpline, ofcourse!

Here in Scandinavia Christmas is the big thing, as we do not celebrate Thanksgiving. As December 24th (the big day here) approaches we have one big challenge that match your Turkey struggle. How to get crispy crackling on our Christmas Pork Rib. Not every Norwegian take part in this traditional torment. There are various traditional Christmas meals in different regions, pork rib being just one.

Along the coast boiled cod fillet may be served with butter, boiled potatoes and veggies. In the westerly regions, salted, cured lamb rib is steamed on top of sprigs - called "Pinnekjøtt" (sprig meat) it is served with the stock, boiled potato and mashed swede. Others serve Turkey, a new dish increasing in popularity.

I, however, am a strong defender of the traditional pork rib. Being father- and motherless I turn to the next in line - my sister, whose cracklings are as crisp as the ones of my childhood. Before my mother died, six years ago, I did my rib dinner for my friends under her motherly guiding every christmas. Now I call my sister - and I have, to my satisfaction, had a great success with my cracklings.

How to get your crisp cracklings

The Pork Rib (2 kgs / 4 lbs) must have a good layer of fat and the skin. Make 0,5 cm/ 2-3 inch deep incisions into the fat criss crossing the top of the rib making small squares. Rub a lot of salt and pepper and place in plastic bag and allow to marinate over night.

Place in tray, fat down, pour water and allow to steam in a moderately warm oven (230C / 450F) for half an hour. Then turn the rib over. Put a plate under it so the excess fat can escape and lower the heat to 200C / 400F. Allow to roast for 1 1/2 hour. If the cracklings are not crisp at this point you can place it further up and use the grill. But be careful - it may burn and the time margines are small.

The Mummy Turkey Helpline - brought to you by Butterball

Well, in the US, you have a substitute Help-line. 100 000 calls are made to 1-800-BUTTERBALL or to the companys e-mail service. The ultimate goal is to get the Turkey of our childhood. Would have worked well here as well for us orphans. Maybe we should establish a service called 1-800-CRISPRIB?

On another way to serve rib, why not try this variety?

So - Enjoy!

1 comment:

cybercasey said...

Hi,I had some Norwegian friends with me in college but never came to know abt the pork ribs tradition. Thanks for this lovely recipe n info. I like finding out unique stuff/events around the world. This new tradition is one add-on to my personal info. Thanks, Casey