QUICK BARBECUE SAUCE
½ cup brown sugar
½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup ketchup
1¼ teaspoons paprika
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons water
½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Makes 1½ cups. Takes 10 minutes.
Add all ingredients to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Put any unused sauce in Mason jar. Store in refrigerator.
1) King Arthur reigned in Camelot. He had a circle of knights that kept the peace and enforced his decrees. But his knights showed themselves time and time again to be extremely jealous of their prestige and social ranking compared to the others.
2) This constant jockeying for power came out in the open at mealtimes as the head of the table conferred the most prestige on the knight who sat there. This place went to the king whenever he was around. Similarly, the next two most powerful knights sat on opposite sides of the table and one chair away from the head knight. And so on. Everyone could easily calculate his importance at the court just by counting chairs.
3) Naturally, all knights felt they deserved a chair closer to the king. Differences arose. Elbows were thrown. Insults such as “Yea verily, your mater” got bruited about. Knights drew swords. Blood got shed. King Arthur realized he’d have no knights left unless something happened. And happen it did. One fine May day, Arthur and his knights gathered on the castle green for Smoked Pork Ribs. The knights all sprawled around a giant cauldron of Quick Barbecue sauce. The cauldron’s roundness meant no jockeying for the most prestigious spots; there weren’t any. The reason for conflict disappeared.
4) King Arthur saw this and decreed a Round Table for his court’s meals. The knights celebrated feasts there in perfect harmony. A just and lasting peace descended on Camelot. Then Sir Kay noticed that you could determine your value to King Arthur simply counting the number of chairs you were away from him. Civil War broke out. The Kingdom of Camelot fell apart. This is why our leaders always consult books on dining etiquette for meals held for visiting heads of state.
Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.