Hibernation is over. The clues have been numerous. The price of asparagus is starting to drop at my local grocery store. I seem to constantly have a stuffy nose. The temperature, while still erratic, has steadily gotten warmer. However, I didn’t know it was officially spring until Friday when my normally kitchen-phobic husband volunteered to make dinner.
While he is a voracious eater, the actual process of cooking leaves him quivering with anxiety. It ranks right up there with vacuuming in terms of his most hated activities. Yet around this time of year something changes. It almost chemical in nature. Some piece of his genetic “man-code” lights up with the recognition that beer drinking can now occur with large pieces of meat over fire in the great outdoors.
To christen the start of grilling season, baby back ribs were in order. Warming to his task, a trip to the grocery store resulted in a good red zinfandel, potatoes for potato salad, and spinach. Showing how dramatic his transformation had been, I was ordered to sit down and not touch a thing while he put on water to boil potatoes for a potato salad, chopped up vegetables for a spinach salad, and marinated the baby back ribs in a spicy tangy marinade. Two hours later as I wiped sauce off my chin, I had to raise a glass to the return of spring and the start of another season of grilling.
North’s Marinade for Baby Back Ribs
While the secret is his, these ribs should be allowed to marinate for at least one hour in a marinade of honey, red wine vinegar, olive oil, dried oregano, chili powder, crushed red pepper, ground cumin, sea salt, and crushed garlic before grilling.