What is YOUR big but?
“But, what? Everyone I know has a big ‘But…?’ C’mon, Simone, let’s talk about your big “But”.
—-Pee Wee Herman
What? Like you don’t glean little nuggets of wisdom from Pee Wee Herman? That eternally childlike, sexually ambiguous, suit and bow-tie wearing imp from stage and screen?
Anyway, he is right—everyone does have a big but. And some have big butts. Some have both.
Let me show you a picture of my favorite butts….
Aren’t they cute? My mother-in-law, Virginia, gave them to me some years ago…Little butts sewn out of nylon, in a jar with pickling spices. So hilarious!!
A few years later, during our annual “adopt a senior” Christmas event at work, we sponsored a nursing home nearby. One of the seniors had on her wish list “a new butt”. I had Virginia procure another jar of butts for me, and I gave it to this dear sweet senior….She had a good laugh off of it and I think she liked it better than the blanket and warm jammies I also gave her.
I also have a favorite but…..It’s hanging on the wall over my desk. It came home from school with my son, Max, at the start of his first grade year.
You see, the school was running a contest to design the school’s official field trip t-shirt. The winning picture would wind up on the back of 500 red Curington (Cougars) Elementary shirts.
Max’s artistic entry came home to me in a sealed envelope, with a note attached to please talk to Max about using bad words on his work. This is what he drew:
What you see above is a perfectly rendered illustration of the front of his school, complete with a flag pole. My Human Resource Professional heart swelled with pride when I noticed he had included both the regular school bus AND the short bus. My little Diversity Champion!! What a grand fieldtrip t-shirt this work would make!
Then you will notice, as I did, the words he wrote across the top. CIC MY BUT. Any mother can translate this for you. It’s Kinder for “kick my butt”.
As soon as I picked my own butt up off the floor from laughing so hard, I DID talk to him about his artwork. He explained that he thought it would be funny if everyone was walking around with a sign on their back that said “kick my butt”.
It’s really rather genius if you think about it. I mean this child of 6 had the foresight to understand the greatest potential implication EVER of winning this art contest. And had it been possible to pull off, it would be the greatest feat ever pulled off by a….errrrr….I mean, “naughty, naughty Max…Naughty. Don’t write bad words on your art work.”
The school administration clearly doesn’t understand art.
Would you tell Pablo Picasso to paint his figures realistically? As if!
Would you tell Edvard Munch to straighten up his crooked, distorted screaming figure? I think not.
Then you would not, should not, DO NOT tell Max Friesenhahn to not write bad words on his art work. It’s just part of his creative process.
Max is 16 now, and to this day, that picture hangs in a frame behind my desk at work. The Louvre keeps calling me, but pester me as they may, they cannot have it.
Here is another butt that you may enjoy in the privacy of your own home.
Smoked Pickled Pork Butt
- 2 quarts of leftover pickle juice
- (or 1 quart water, one quart vinegar, ½ cup salt, 1/3 cup sugar—boiled and cooled)
- 1 bone-in, cap-on pork butt (4-6 pounds)
- Pork rub of your choice, or you can use mine:
- 2 Tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
Place pork butt in a 2 gallon ziplock bag, or a plastic storage container with a lid. Cover with pickle juice or homemade brine. Refrigerate for at least 2 days, turning periodically. Remove from brine, and pat dry.
Rub liberally with the spice mixture on all sides, and allow it to sit at room temperature for 4 hours. Rub additional spice mixture on it just before placing in smoker.
Place fat side up in the smoker and allow to cook unmolested (no poking, turning, or prodding is needed). We did about 250*-275* for 7 hours or so. This allows the fat to slowly render down through the meat, leaving it moist and flavorful, and creates a perfect bark. Check your fire box occasionally and adding more wood if necessary to maintain a fairly steady temperature.
We love to smoke with mesquite and oak wood so that is what we used. Mesquite is pretty oily and puts off lots of great smoke, but burns quickly. Oak has a nice mellow smoke to it, but is very hard so it burns for much longer. Mixing the two gives great smoke, and also means you don’t have to tend to the fire so much. You can use whatever wood you prefer.
Remove from the pit, and allow to sit for 15 minutes before serving. You may carve it or shred it, as desired, based on how you plan to serve it.