Nick has been home from Boston for a brief summer vacation before starting back to dental school in a few days. He was a busy person - very active social life - so I saw him mainly for meals. We have a ritual when he is home: He gets to choose the dinners he wants from his favorites. We had the welcome home New York strip steak with baked onion rings and salad (his dad actually grilled the steaks, so this was an easy one for me); the Caesar salad with grilled chicken; the dinner with friends which included a variety of dishes plus a homemade rustic peach tart (rustic because the crust, while delicious, was incredibly hard to work with so there were lots of patches); homemade pizza with a dough I had frozen some time ago - excellent result when cooking on the pizza stone in the oven; jerk chicken with papaya and pineapple salsa; and tonight, ribs with a fruit barbecue sauce, corn fritters (from Michael Ruhlman's book, Ratio) and watermelon.
The picture is the remains of that meal - not much left! The ribs were so tender they literally fell off the bone. I use a recipe that calls for brining them overnight, then marinating them in a mustard/spice rub for an hour or two, then slow cooking wrapped in foil with a little pineapple juice to steam (in the oven), then another brown sugar/spice rub and finished off on the grill. I find doing the major part of the cooking in the oven makes for a more predictable timeline and better control (for me) of temperature, so I modified this recipe to include the oven time vs. additional time on the grill.
Nick leaves tomorrow, but I'll probably start thinking about the Christmas vacation dinners the next day!