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Mom’s Homemade BBQ Sauce

The time has come to give up my kitchen. Not that I’m complaining anymore.

Usually, when we have company over and people offer to help me, the words barely register before I politely decline their friendly “interference”. I am a lone wolf in the kitchen, manically preparing any number of dishes in record time and getting it all out onto the table for consumption at the same time. Years in commercial kitchens taught me how to time everything perfectly and I haven’t had much trouble since then. Although the occasional potato has foiled my attempts at timing perfection, I’ve vowed not to care.

I can cook anything perfectly, except popcorn and potatoes. There, I said it. So sue me…they are just not my specialty.

And so it has come to pass that my parents are here to help in the arrival of the new addition (still yet to appear!). Treks to grocery stores, farmer’s markets, farms, seafood stores, etc. are now a  caravan of people and cars, wallets and cloth shopping bags. We’re an unstoppable force to be reckoned with, lists in hand, pens scratching out the already chosen items. If you see us coming, just pretend not to notice.

Mom has come to rescue me from my own food obsession, at least for a little while, and I couldn’t be happier about it. My usual pickiness has been replaced with a nary a care attitude. Whatever Mom makes is the best damn thing I could think of having that night for dinner. Hubby wants to BBQ smokies for dinner? Sure. As long as I can sit on the couch, feet raised on the hassock, “A Very Hungry Caterpillar” in my lap and a certain redheaded boy by my side. Just how I imagined these last couple of weeks would be.

This recipe is a classic of my childhood and I couldn’t be happier to share it with you. If you don’t like it spicy, just leave out the chili sauce!

Mom’s Homemade BBQ Sauce

Yield: 1 1/2 cups BBQ Sauce
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

1/2 large white or yellow onion, diced
1 tsp butter
1 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp Srirachi chili sauce
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp mesquite liquid smoke
1 pinch of celery seed

1. In small sauté pan, heat butter and onions together. Cook at just below high heat to achieve a nice caramelization. Remove from heat.
2. In a small saucepan, stir together all ingredients (including onions). Bring to a simmer at medium heat, then lower to almost the lowest setting and let cook for at least 1/2 hour or until desired thickness is achieved.
3. Allow to cool before using.

Mom’s Oldstyle Ribs


  • 1 rack pork back ribs per person (leave whole or cut into desired sizes)
  • Place in large pot and fill with water (just enough to cover).
  • Bring just to a boil, lower heat and keep at a low simmer for 2 hours.
  • Drain (you can save the water for pork stock in soups)
  • Preheat oven to 250°F
  • Place ribs on a foil lined baking sheet and cover on all sides with BBQ sauce.
  • Bake for 1 hour, basting and turning every 15 minutes. (Alternatively, you can also do this on the BBQ at low on indirect heat)

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