LOLA GOT'S LUTONG BAHAY IN AMERICA (15): One more year. By Margot Marfori

NEVADA (MindaNews/02 January) — When the New Year comes in, time seems to stop for a millisecond. And, like what many say is an experience before that last breath gives in to death, a brief flash of our most significant memories whirl through what’s left of last year’s consciousness just as it flickers out into what we all hope to be a better future.

The year to come is always froth with so much optimism. New Year’s Resolutions and New Beginnings and New Most Everything, we think will push us to New Heights in what we would like to think will be a New Life, is always good though. It makes it all worth it. What should be remembered is that where we are is why things happened in the past. There is no sure way to know how it’s all going to turn out, even if we read our horoscope everyday, or regularly go to a fortune teller. The one thing we can only be certain of is that life happens and living it is what it’s all about.

What we hope for, all the time, is a better year it seems, even if we already had one. Hope is not cheap, but it is that one very important ingredient in living life through with more joy than most. Hope begins with the same letter as happy, hence the Happy New Year in beginning, hopefully, a happier 2011!

Speaking of H words, there’s this really good book from our local library book-sale (25 cents!), which was so engrossing that even on intervals when other things had to be done around the house, it stayed in there and seemed to wait to be read further. The language is so beautifully put together. Every sentence reads like an endearment, even in the parts where we normally would attribute some tragic sense in the situation. The narrative seems to be so well thought of, yet a sensation of spontaneity in the way the story unfolds holds us to want to read through to the end. It does not hurry us on, but actually makes us want to make the whole experience of reading it last just a little longer. “Housekeeping” by Marilynne Robinson enthralls us and gives us cause to know why there is creative writing in the first place.

The bounty of a good books aside, which is better appreciated with a really good meal anyway you put it, makes it imperative for me to share this for the New Year. This no-fail barbecue sauce could just make this New Beginnings Day much more delicious. What could be better than a fall-off-the-bone spare rib barbecue meal, coupled with coleslaw?

The No-Fail Barbecue Sauce

1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup rum (I use Myer’s Original Dark Jamaican Rum)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp dry mustard
dash of pepper
2 Tbsps Chile Habanero Sauce or sili would do very well too (if you like it hot)

1. Mix all of this together and set aside.
2.   Wrap the ribs in double layers of aluminum foil, preferably unseasoned so the sauce can do its job later. Bake at 350˚F or 175˚C for 1 1/2 hrs.
3.   Unwrap ribs and marinade in a roasting pan (I use a large pyrex dish) with the sauce for 1 hr, or better yet, overnight.
4.   You can grill this over a barbecue pit, or, bake uncovered until the sauce bubbles around the meat. Be sure to brush over the ribs at least once in the middle of cooking. Another 30 to 45 minutes of oven time would do the trick.

There is no better way to know how this can work unless you try it. It can be prepared a day before and cooked with the sauce the next day. A no-stress kind of meal that will make everyone sit back and enjoy each other’s company more than taking up so much time for preparation. Enjoy, and….

A HAPPY NEW YEAR, TO ALL!  (Mindanawon Abroad is MindaNews’ effort to link up with Mindanawons overseas who would like to share their experiences in their adopted countries. Dabawenya Margot Marfori is a writer and visual artist who continues to live the Davao she loves. She taught at the University of the Philippines in Mindanao from 1996 to 2002. She is now based more times of the year in Henderson, Nevada, while her youngest son is studying at UNLV, and, where her two older children in San Francisco are near enough to visit).