AMI This Week

AMI This Week

AMI This Week is a weekly magazine show with a distinct community focus, sharing events and interesting stories from coast to coast.

AMI This Week

AMI This Week is a weekly magazine show with a distinct community focus, sharing events and interesting stories from coast to coast.


Smoked Ribs Recipe

Authored on August 12, 2020
A man stands in front of a table, smiling. Barbecued meat sits on a plate.

By Alex Smyth

Interested in taking your ribs to the next level? You have to try out my recipe for delicious smoked ribs!

This smoking method is commonly known as the 3-2-1 method of smoking. Simply put, it is three hours of smoking with the dry rub, two hours of braising in liquid, and one hour of smoking, covered in barbecue sauce. 

I use a digital smoker to make my ribs as it makes the whole process a breeze. You can set the temperature, timing, and adjust the smoke amount easily, which helps to take the guesswork out of it. 

To start, I like to use St. Louis cut pork ribs, I find they are the best to smoke with because they are uniform and have consistent meat from end to end. 

The first step with ribs is ensuring that the silver skin, or translucent membrane, is removed from the bone side of the ribs. If not, the smoke won’t penetrate the meat as well and the ribs will not be tender. To do this, I use a table knife and slide the tip of the blade between the second and third rib and wiggle the tip to separate a bit of the silver skin from the meat. Continue to do so until you loosen it enough to grab hold. I use a paper towel to grab the silver skin so that it won’t slip in your hands when pulling! Holding the ribs down, pull the silver skin until it is removed from the rack. 

Now it’s ready for the rub! To make the rub, combine:

-    ¼ cup brown sugar
-    2 tablespoons onion powder
-    2 tablespoons garlic powder
-    2 tablespoons black pepper
-    1 tablespoon dry mustard
-    1 tablespoon salt
-    1 tablespoon paprika
-    ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Once combined, generously cover the ribs with the spice mix and rub it in so the rack is completely covered. I typically like to let the ribs rest after being rubbed for a few hours in the fridge, but that step is up to you.

To prep the smoker, set the temperature at 225 degrees Fahrenheit and set the timer for three and a half hours. (The first half hour allows the smoker to reach temperature). Another thing to consider is the type of wood you will use for the smoke. I prefer whiskey oak or pecan, as they provide a subtle flavour to the ribs. 

Place the ribs in the smoker and let them smoke for three hours, uncovered. After three hours, remove the ribs from the smoker.

Now it is time to braise the ribs. This stage is really important and what helps make the ribs super moist and tender. 

In a bowl, combine the following ingredients to make the braising liquid:

-    ¼ cup brown sugar
-    4 tablespoons honey
-    ¼ cup butter
-    ½ cup apple juice

Place a sheet of foil on the counter and fold the edges into a bowl shape so no liquid can escape. Add half of the braising liquid to the bottom of the foil, then place your ribs meat side down in the foil. Add the remaining liquid on the other side of the ribs, and cover with more aluminum foil, sealing it so no liquid can escape. 

Now the ribs go back on to the smoker for two hours at the same temperature of 225 degrees Fahrenheit. During these two hours, you do not need to have the smoke on. After the ribs braise for two hours, remove them from the smoker and from the foil. Reserving some of the braising liquid, combine a small amount with your favourite barbecue sauce, and generously cover the ribs in the sauce. 

Return the ribs to the smoker for one final hour with the smoke on. This final hour of smoking creates a beautiful glaze with the barbecue sauce and really takes the ribs over the top!

Finally, after the last hour of smoking, the ribs are done! Take them out of the smoker and enjoy the results of your hard work!

For more blogs from Alex, search his name!

Simple Science with Beth Deer

Authored on July 27, 2020
A woman smiles into the camera. A guide dog sits next to her.

By Beth Deer

What was your favourite subject in school? For me it was art or music. I absolutely hated English and science because there was always so much writing involved. 

For this week’s AMI This Week segment, I am joined by Alan Nursell, the CEO of Telus World of Science Edmonton to show me some hands-on science experiments.

When this segment was first proposed, I was really anxious because as I just said, science wasn’t my thing. Once I found out it was physical experiments, I was really excited because I love being able to witness science happening.

Alan was great and did so well on camera. He made the experiments fun and very descriptive so I was able to follow along. Depending on how long we end up filming from home for maybe we can convince my senior producer, Michelle, to let us do something involving fire next time? I’m not joking. I really would like to do some experiments involving some daring things. 

I don’t want to give away too much but tonight's segment involves pencils and Ziploc bags. 

Watch the segment on AMI This Week at 8 p.m. Eastern on AMI-tv.

For more blogs from Beth, search her name!

Visiting ReYu Paralysis Recovery Centre

Authored on July 13, 2020
A woman sits at a table, smiling. A plate with a pastry on it is in front of her.

By Beth Deer

Just under a year ago, myself and the rest of my team visited ReYu Paralysis Recovery Centre. I had heard great things about the facility, but until my visit there I had no idea how amazing the work they do really is. 

The thing that stood out to me the most was how much time and energy they put into every individual client. We filmed with a young family; a little boy called Rhys and his mum Desire. They were both so fun to work with. Rhys was the sweetest little guy with so much character and I was in awe of how much his mum wanted to help him reach the goals that ReYu set for him. 

During his session his trainer, Nancy, made it really fun for him with lots of nursery rhymes, encouragement and fun activities. Another thing I found really interesting is the way ReYu uses intense activity based training to increase function for individuals with spinal cord injuries and other kinds of disorders. There is only one other training centre in Canada that focuses on this kind of therapy. 

At AMI, we encounter some pretty incredible stories but it’s not often I return home from a shoot with a warm heart and totally different perspective on my day-to-day life. 

I’m really excited for everyone to tune into tonight’s show to hear Rhys’ touching story and witness the incredible work that ReYu does. Watch the segment on AMI This Week at 8 p.m. Eastern on AMI-tv.

For more blogs from Beth, search her name!

ReVision Training with Tyler Merren, Fitness VIPs

Authored on July 9, 2020
A man and woman speak via Zoom.

By Laura Bain 

Recently, I had the opportunity to interview American Paralympic goalball player, motivational speaker, and fitness instructor Tyler Merren for an AMI This Week segment. Tyler lives in Indiana. Although I miss being out in the field with our Halifax team meeting guests in person, one advantage of doing the show from home is that we are able to interview guests from anywhere in the world so long as they have access to the internet and a device with a camera on it. 

Tyler came to my attention a few months ago when I was invited to join his Facebook group ReVision Training with Tyler Merren, Fitness VIPs. In this group, Tyler posts workout videos that he makes at home. The videos are for all fitness levels and cover various types of workouts from yoga to cardio and strength training. The best part? All of the videos are fully accessible to people who are blind or partially sighted. 

Like me, Tyler has Retinitis Pigmentosa, so he knows first-hand what it’s like to put on a workout video and not be able to follow along because you can’t see what’s happening on the screen. I’ve tried a few of the videos and found them easy to follow as Tyler describes each movement, how your body should feel in the exercise, etc. 

Unlike me, Tyler had a positive relationship to sport and physical fitness growing up. He came from a family of athletes and was introduced to goalball in high school. He went on to study exercise science in university and to work as a personal trainer in a busy gym environment. I do not come from a family of athletes and did not really know about adaptive sports until I was in my 20s. My childhood and teenage experiences of gym class were painful and traumatizing. In some cases the teacher would allow me to sit on the stage and watch the other students have class, in other cases I was forced to participate without modification which led to bullying, injuries, and always being picked last. 

In my 20s and 30s I have started to reclaim the part of my identity that expresses itself through movement. Turns out I actually love activities like hiking, running, tandem biking, and really any type of exercise where no one is screaming at me to locate a ball I can’t see. I’ve tried goalball and I like it, but I think because of my early experiences I may always have an aversion to team sports. 

Here’s what I’m saying, I am fascinated by and in admiration of people like Tyler who confidently assert themselves into fitness environments. I want to learn from them the skills I didn’t learn growing up. I want to walk into a gym and not feel any sense of shame or like I don’t belong because I use a cane. Tyler is on a mission to make physical activity accessible to everyone, and I think that this is so important because we all have a right to move our bodies to the best of our abilities and receive the physical and psychological benefits that come from exercise. If you have a disability and have a complicated or negative relationship to fitness, now might be the perfect time to experiment at home, in your living room, with nobody watching. 

You can watch my interview with Tyler Merren on, the AMI YouTube channel, or on the AMI-tv App. 

For more blogs from Laura, search her name!

Adaptive Rock Climbing

Authored on June 29, 2020
A man stands outside with a barbecued pork tenderloin on a cutting board in front of him.

By Alex Smyth

In an upcoming episode of AMI This Week, we will be airing a segment that I filmed with the Canadian Adaptive Climbing Society. They are a group that works to make rock climbing accessible for everyone and they are an amazing group who want to share their passion for climbing with others. 

We originally shot this segment in February, and at the time it was a lot of fun to meet with organizers, volunteers, and the CCB Rocks group. They were all so friendly and excited to do some rock climbing and that was great to see!

However, as I look back at the segment now, it becomes a bit jarring to see the crowds of people enjoying themselves without any idea of what would soon change. So, I am curious to find out if others have the same feeling as I do when watching the segment. 

That said, it was a ton of fun to watch Liz and Neisha each conquer new challenges at the gym. Hearing their stories and the impact the organization has had on them was inspiring. Especially when it came to the connections, they formed with the volunteers they worked with! 

While they had great success that evening scaling the wall, myself on the other hand, did not. I had been rock climbing many times over the years, but it was never something I consistently did. Part of that was due to the lack of access to a climbing gym, and part was also due to my body type. 

I’m a big guy, and when it comes to rock climbing, it can make things much harder. Trying to pull more weight up a wall can be very difficult especially if you do not have the proper technique. I certainly did not, and the results of my attempt to climb the wall is on display in the upcoming segment!

My biggest challenge when on the wall was the fact that while I do work out and lift weights, I was not focusing on the key muscles needed for rock climbing. My forearms and grip strength were not what it needed to be, and what ended up happening while I was climbing was that I could no longer grasp onto the holds. When I approached the top, I tried placing my forearms on the grips to pull myself up instead. Sadly, that did not work as I had hoped.

Despite my attempt to scale the wall, I loved the experience and I am very eager to try it again with the organization and all the amazing people involved. So, when things open back up and we can confidently meet up in social settings like that one again, you can expect to find me on the wall, giving it another chance! 

For more blogs from Alex, search his name!