Pearl Harbor Not to be Forgotten

I grew up in the sleepy little hamlet of Florin California, in the shadow of the Golden State’s capital city. Before World War II, Florin was rich in agriculture. Grape vineyards and fields of sweet strawberries stretched out as far as the eye could see. The early settlers that migrated to the area were of European and Asian descent.

The town of Florin itself was predominately Japanese-American. They were the ones who toiled lands they could not own, making the tiny town of Florin the Strawberry Capital of the World. The relocation of Japanese farmers from the area in 1942 was the beginning of the end for the strawberry fields of Florin. The grape and wine production soon followed suit and the fate of Florin was forever changed.


Perhaps it was growing up in the shadow of a town that was broken by the attack on Pearl Harbor and bitterness that followed that had such an impact on me as a child. Perhaps it was that my mother was a survivor of the Japanese invasion of the Philippines and the scars of war that showed. Or that fact that my most memorable teacher had lost everything when her family was uprooted and sent to an internment camp during the war. She wasn’t bitter or resentful. She did teach her mostly white American students about Japanese culture so that we could appreciate a way of life different from our own. My elementary school was dominated by Irish and Italian Catholics.

For me, remembering Pearl Harbor is not only to honor those that died, but also to remember where that wave of anger took this country. Anger and fear are never good reasons to take action.

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Menu
Red Currant Glazed Asian Ribs
Bacon Fried Rice
Sesame Soy Green Beans

Red Currant Glazed Asian Ribs
2 medium Onions, Yellow
3 lbs Pork Ribs, Country-Style
4 whole Garlic Cloves
1 1/2 cups Water
3 tablespoons Canola Oil
4 teaspoons Ginger, fresh
1/2 cup Soy Sauce
4 teaspoons Rice Vinegar
1 1/2 cups Red-Currant Jelly
3 teaspoons Banana Sauce or Ketchup
Kosher Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste

Heat oven to 300 degrees.

Chop 1 onion into 1-inch pieces. Scatter the onion in a 9-inch by 13-inch roasting pan.

Peel garlic and toss in with the onion pieces.

Trim ribs of any excess fat. Place ribs over the onions. Add about 1 1/2 cups of water.

Cover roasting pan tightly with foil and place in the oven. Braise until the ribs are very tender, about 3 to 4 hours.

Meanwhile, make the red-currant glaze. Finely chop remaining onion. Set aside.

Heat canola oil in a small sauce pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until onion is tender, about 6 minutes.

While the onion is cooking, peel and finely grate the ginger. Set aside.

Once the onion is tender, add ginger to the saucepan and cook over medium heat for 1 more minute.

Stir in soy sauce, rice vinegar, Currant jelly and ketchup. Taste and season as needed with salt and pepper. Continue to cook for 5 minutes for flavors to come together.

Reserve 1/2 cup of the glaze for serving. The remaining glaze will be used on the ribs as they cook.

Once the ribs are tender and braising is complete, remove from oven and remove ribs from the pan. Discard the onions, garlic and braising liquid. Increase oven to 350 degrees.

Return the ribs to the roasting pan, brush with glaze. Place pan on the middle rack in the oven. Bake ribs for 30 minutes, brushing with glaze every 10 minutes.

Remove glazed ribs from the oven and serve with reserved Red-Currant mixture.

Bacon Fried Rice 
4 Strips Bacon, cooked crisp
3 or 4 Green Onions, chopped
2 Eggs, beaten
3 Cups White Rice (day-old best)
1 Package Sun-Bird Fried Rice Seasoning
2 tablespoons Soy Sauce or to taste
Black Pepper to taste
1 Pinch Kosher Salt to taste

If you don’t happen to have day-old white rice just sitting around, you could cook the rice in the morning, then make the fried rice that night.

In a large, flat-bottom skillet or griddle pan, fry bacon until crisp.

While the bacon is frying, chop up the green onions and set aside until ready to use.

In a small bowl, beat eggs and have at the ready.

When the bacon is finished cooking, remove from skillet and place on paper towels to cool while absorbing any excess fat drippings.

Pour all but about a tablespoon or so of the bacon drippings into a jar and store in the refrigerator for other uses. (Believe me, if you don’t already do so, you’ll be cooking up a storm using bacon drippings).

Pour remaining bacon drippings into a wok over medium heat. Add beaten egg and begin to scramble. Eggs should be runny, and just beginning to set when cold rice is added to the wok.

Continue to scramble the eggs and rice together, separating the rice grains as they warm in the eggs. Make sure the eggs and rice are well-blended together and that the eggs are now fully cooked.

Crumble bacon into the fried rice. Sprinkle seasoning mix over everything. Add 1 tablespoon of soy sauce to help seasoning mix into the rice. Add a second tablespoon of soy sauce and mix well.

Toss green onions into the fried rice, folding to distribute the bacon throughout the rice. Season with a little black pepper.

Taste the rice and adjust the seasoning with a pinch of salt if necessary. Stir to blend. Taste rice a second time, adding more soy sauce if needed.

Sesame Soy Green Beans
3/4 pound fresh green beans
1 Pinch Kosher Salt
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted

Trim ends of beans. If necessary, cut some of the longer beans for a more uniform size. Rinse and shake dry.

In a large saucepan add water. Place beans into saucepan, sprinkle with salt. Bring beans to a rolling boil; reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until beans are crisp-tender and nearly all the water has evaporated.

While the green beans are cooking, toast the sesame seeds lightly in a dry skillet over medium heat. Shake pan and toast. Set sesame seeds aside.

Drain remaining water from the saucepan. Add the butter, soy sauce and sesame seeds to the green beans; toss to coat.

Transfer to a serving bowl or dish and enjoy!

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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