It’s 2:04 AM and I should be sleeping. I promised two of my housemates (and myself) that I would unceremoniously drag my butt out of bed to join them in a barre class in the morning. This means I will/would have to rise in a little over five hours in order to promptly attend the 8:30 class. I have never been one to work out in the mornings, let alone on less than seven hours of sleep. Guess I won’t be getting my sweat on.
I should be curled up under my blankets, eyes closed, lost in Technicolor dreams—instead I’m sitting cross-legged on my bed, my window fan whirling humid island air around my small room, trying to quiet and organize my racing thoughts.
I’ve tried to distract myself with episodes of Orange is the New Black; an hour and a half of binge watching female inmates struggle with their own personal demons and each other. But their jailhouse drama can’t overshadow the petty drama that seems to be unfolding beyond the confines of my computer screen.
It’s amazing how people can misconstrue words or actions. Dinner for three becomes a raging house party. A pit stop to visit a friend becomes a wild night of debauchery. Multi-tasting and juggling multiple conversations leads to a tainted friendship and rampant rumors. Someone should have told me I was going back to high school.
Teenage-angst (or is it twenty-something-angst?) isn’t the only topic keeping me from embracing sleep. Big life questions are also pushing and shoving their way forward. What’s next after my time on the Vineyard? Will I be able to sit behind a desk again, unable to interact with other people? Where should I live? Do I move back to St. Louis? What about California? How can I make a grilled cheese without a working stovetop?
None of these questions can be solved over night. Not even the 90210-type antics can be quieted in 24 hours. Both take resilience and self-confidence. Both take inner-strength. Both take patience.
Unfortunately, patience has never really been one of my strong suits, at least when it comes to my personal life. When it comes to tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs, however, patience comes as easily as breathing.
There are two things I love about a good rack of ribs. 1: it’s completely acceptable to eat them with your hands. And 2: like my life, they’re messy.
You know you’re enjoying really, really good ribs when the meat falls off the bone in one bite, filling your mouth with its rich, smoky flavor. The sweet-yet-spicy sauce balances out the pork, giving each bite a surprising kick. Without shame you savor every last morsel, licking the bone and your fingers clean.
Ribs should never be rushed. They should be cooked low-and-slow over controlled heat in order to obtain that melt-in-your-mouth flavor that any good bbq-afficionado craves. You have to tend to them carefully, keeping a watchful eye, like a mother looking after her child.
Yes, life is rather messy right now, but the only thing we can do is take it one day at a time. We must have patience. If we have patience, i can guarantee our messy, complicated lives will turn into something worth savoring.
Let’s practice a little patience with a rack of ribs. Get grilling, friends.
- 1 slab of baby-back ribs
- 2 ½ Tbl salt
- 1 Tbl dry mustard
- 1 Tbl paprika
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 jar of Gates BBQ Sauce
- Combine salt, mustard, paprika, cayenne pepper and black pepper together in a small bowl. Rub on both sides of ribs. Let stand for at least 30 minutes.
- Prepare grill for indirect grilling. Grill ribs over medium-high heat until almost cooked through – about 20 minutes.
- Generously brush the ribs with bbq sauce, flipping the meat often, until the sauce caramelizes and the ribs are cooked to desired doneness. Approximately 10-15 minutes longer.
- Let ribs stand for 3 minutes before cutting. Add more bbq sauce if desired when serving.