The star of your next summer barbeque. Pork ribs dripping in Sweet Baby Rays Sauce and falling from the bone in one clean bite. Pairs perfectly with corn, mashed potatoes, and childhood melancholy.
Ingredients (yield: 8-10 servings)
3 racks pork ribs
1 bottle sweet baby ray’s Original
2 childhood friends
1 friend from the first city you lived in
3 friends from current city
1 rental home on the river (can substitute with other bodies of water)
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Wake before the rest of the house. Watch the sunrise with your robe open. Do your morning pages. Eat tangerines. Once the light washes over the mountains and the current picks up, text your Dad for the recipe.
2. Make the first pot of coffee. Fry eggs. Reheat collards and beans left over from dinner. Ask everyone how they slept while dipping toast into the runny worry of not getting an immediate response from your Dad.
3. Once the sun is high enough to rapidly evaporate off your goosebumps skin and you’re friends have started to dance to a song they all forgot they loved, check for a response.
4. Call your dad. Call your mom. Let the scorning of calling your parents too many times while they were at work as a kid rise to the surface and skim off with a slotted spoon. Discard the solids. Call your mom again. When she tells you your brother and dad are on their way back from the doctor, do not get upset for not knowing.
5. Call your brother. With a filet knife cut questions about how he is or how his recent neurology appointment went out of your speech. Place them in a freezer bag for later use. Tell him how much fun you’re having. Promise to send pictures. Insist on him waking up your dad.
6. Be sweet. Apologize for waking him. Accept his apology for forgetting you. Use a fine mesh strainer to remove resentment in your repeated explanation for why you’re out of town.
7. Salt and pepper the racks of ribs. Cover with tin foil and bake at 250 for 2 hours. Remove from the oven, slather both sides in sauce, and grill till caramelized.
8. Forgive yourself for not remembering such a simple process.
9. Tell your friends they can help with sides. Do not get mad when you ultimately end up doing it all.
10. Dust each person at the table with how happy you are to have them. Accept compliments on dinner with beauty and grace.
11. Once the bones have been sucked dry walk clockwise around the table collecting them. Place them all on a whicker plater and adorn them with wheat, juniper branches and California buckwheat.
12. Lead your friends to the river. Arrange them behind you in a semi-circle. Throw each bone into the water while they scream and chant.
13. Let go. You’re exactly where you need to be.
Photograph by Valeria Boltneva