It’s Independence Day, and since the Food Safety News team is spread out across the country, we’re having another “virtual potluck” for our first 4th of July celebration.  

Our first virtual potluck was held on Memorial day this year and was a huge success so we’re hoping for a nice follow-up today.

Michelle is bringing lobster, Dan is bringing ribs, Denis is bringing his mom’s Jell-O salad, Suzanne is bringing banana bread and mud pie, and Helena is bringing an arugula and goat cheese salad.  We’re sharing our recipes here, so you can join in our virtual potluck or use them at your next one.  

Note:  Food Safety News is observing Independence Day on July 5.  We will return to our regular publishing schedule Tuesday.

Have a safe 4th of July!  

The Food Safety News team.

Sam’s BBQ Ribs

spare-ribs-featured.jpgThe 4th of July weekend is great time to think about liberty.

It just so happens that the first and only time that I’ve spent an extended amount of time in Washington D.C. was during the summers before and during the Watergate hearings.

They were chaired by the self-described “country lawyer,” Sen. Sam J. Ervin Jr, D-NC.  Over the 4th when I think about liberty, Ervin always comes to my mind. He believed in liberty for all.  When it came to civil liberties, “Chairman Sam” believed the words in the Constitution mean what they say.

That’s why breaking and entering and warrantless wiretaps did not help Dick Nixon with the Ervin Committee, which was the other name for the Watergate Committee.

Other than watching it up close, I have no connection to Ervin and these historic proceedings. Oh, except one–I have Sam’s recipe for Barbecued Ribs.   No need for the long story, just suffice I expressed interest in it and Sam gave it up.


2 lbs spareribs, cut into strips about 5 inches wide.
Salt and pepper
Half cup of prepared barbecue sauce.
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp basil
1.4 tsp oregano


Season ribs with salt and pepper; lace accordion-style on rotisserie spit.

Attach spit and turn on the motor according to the manufacturer’s directions.

To make sue, combine remaining ingredients.  Let ribs rotate over heat till meat is well done (no pink remains), about  90 minutes to 2 hours.

Brush ribs with sauce during the last 20 to 30 minutes of cooking.