How Cooking As A Couple Can Connect Your Past, Present, & Future

02.14.18 1 year ago


I work full-time as an editor and columnist in New York City. My partner goes to school full-time — watching our 3-year-old son during the day while I work, then taking classes in the evenings, when I’m home. We live in a small, two bedroom apartment in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. We aren’t married. During the week we rarely see one another for longer than the five minutes spent passing off our child. I’m 31. He’s 35. We’ve been together for four years.

Our unforgiving schedules, the often-overwhelming responsibilities and frustrations associated with parenting, and, more often than that, finances, can and often do put a strain on our relationship. Gone are the days when we’d sleep in until noon on a Saturday, smelling of morning sex and alcohol. We can’t make dinners together every evening like we used to, either — dangerously close to burning the risotto because we’re too busy slow dancing in the kitchen. And we never have the time to sit across from one another at the back of a bar, drinking whiskey, eating bbq, talking until 2:00 a.m. and anticipating loud, sweaty, sex (which is exactly how things went down the first night we met).

Missing these things takes a toll. So when we feel a potentially detrimental strain start to tug at our relationship, my partner and I find the time to cook. More specifically, we make bbq baked ribs. Together. With a little bit of paprika, liquid smoke, and a rack of pork, we’re transported back to the location of our first date: Bitterroot BBQ in Seattle, WA.

This recipe is our affordable time machine — providing intimacy, nostalgia, and a delicious reminder that love, like ribs, can stick. You just have to work at it.


  • 2 racks uncooked ribs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tb salt
  • 1 1/2 tb peper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 bottle bbq sauce
  • 1-2 tb liquid smoke

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