NYSDM: Western-Style
by Dave

High Noon Movie Poster
Howdy partner, this is the Western version of our Not Your Standard Dinner and a Movie date idea. As with all of these movie dates, the plan is to take a cultural theme and dive into it. In other words, you don’t invite someone over for salmon and Slumdog Millionaire, you invite them over for a rack of barbeque ribs and High Noon. And you don’t just bbq ribs, you drink sasparilla and listen to western music while you do!

If you don't have a lot of country music in your collection, head over to your local library and check out a few cd's.

The Meal
What says old west more than a good ole bbq? I'm thinking ribs with mashed potatoes or cornbread, and a couple of ice-cold beers or sasparilla. Some other ideas would be steaks, bison, elk, or a hearty stew, use your imagination! And if you're wondering about sasparilla, yes it's actually still available in stores. Try calling Trader Joe's, BevMo, or other specialty stores in your area.

The proper way to cook ribs involves a grill and up to 5 hours of cooking time. If you have that much time, great, here are a few sites with cooking information:

If you don't have that kind of time, try this simple recipe for oven-cooked ribs:

2 pounds pork ribs
salt and pepper

1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup tomato juice
1/2 cup water

  1. Separate the ribs and place in a pan with a 1/4" of water in the bottom. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the meat. Cover and bake at 325º F for 30 minutes.
  2. While ribs bake, combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Drain ribs and replace in pan. Cover with sauce and bake at 325º F for 45 minutes uncovered, basting the occasionally with sauce.
Because of the required cook time, the host should consider starting the baking before their date arrives. Maybe cook for 30 minutes or so and then make the sauce together. Also, for those of you who aren't great in the kitchen, replace the big sauce list with a few bottles of store-bought bbq sauce. I know I’m going to get some hate mail for that, but I’m no a food snob and have done it myself.
I won’t bother with recipes for mashed potatoes or cornbread, there are a million different recipes online.

I did some searching for authentic old west drinks but it looks like they pretty much drank really strong stuff like bourbon and whiskey, or warm beer. Not so appetizing, but I did stumble across this supposedly authentic drink that sounded ok.

Horse Feathers
1 lemon
Ginger Ale
2 ounces bourbon or rye

Peel lemon in one long spiral piece and place the peel in tall glass, draping ends over either side of edges. Add some ice. Fill with Ginger ale. Makes 1 drink

For dessert it looks like apple pie is a pretty safe bet or you can find other wild west dessert ideas here.

The Movie

  • High Noon (1952)
    Gary Cooper plays a retiring marshall who must fight a returning enemy without the help of the townspeople he has protected for so long.
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
    The movie chronicles the famous outlaws' last months as they are tracked relentlessly after a series of train robberies.
  • Unforgiven (1992)
    Clint Eastwood plays the notorious outlaw William Munny, who is tempted to leave his reformed life as a hog-farmer and kill a man by a reward he needs to support his children.
  • The Searchers (1956)
    John Wayne stars as a retired Civil War soldier who spends years searching for his niece who was kidnapped by Comanche Indians.
  • The Wild Bunch (1969)
    William Holden stars in this movie about an aging group of outlaws who look for one last big score as the old west disappears around them.

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