Smoking Pork Butt
Anyway, I came across a website that allowed people to write in and ask a real chef their cooking/baking questions. The questions were all arranged by title, and one of them--I swear--was "Smoking Pork Butt--Help!". It's a measure of my domestic incompetence that my first thought was, of course, "Well, put him OUT, for heaven's sake!". My next one was "I wonder what class of fire extinguisher you use for a smoking pig..." which is probably only a measure of my truly odd mind. We won't even go into what the next thought, "And how did they only manage to set his ass on fire?" means about my culinary skills OR my level of normalcy.
Fortunately for me, I read in the newspaper last night that there is a Baptist college in the deep south that is now offering a degree in Homemaking. Now, lest any of you begin to bristle here, let me say right up front that I believe homemaking to be a valuable and important job, I have deep admiration for those who do it well, and if you keep bristling like that, your hair will stay that way. But here's the thing: the degree is only available to women. Ms. Knitingale was a bit.....surprised. If you understand "surprised" to mean that a flaming pig's ass turning up in the kitchen at that exact moment would not have been any more of a shock.
On the one hand, it's great that they finally acknowledge that there is a wealth of knowledge necessary to run a home well, and that it's a worthy skill. But these people openly say that they offer this degree because women belong in the home, are supposed to provide all these services to the men, and other assorted ass. Flaming or otherwise. Bah. Ms. Knitingale feels certain that she would likely be tossed out of these classes.
For instance, one of the classes is Interior Design. Apparently it is terribly important that the man come home to a lovely home carefully and prettily designed by his wife who has nothing better to do all day once she's done with the laundry, the cleaning, the cooking and the rearing of the children. For whom, by the way, she is supposed to design and sew clothing (another of the classes is in precisely those skills). I think they would not appreciate my insightful comment that "I found two pillowcases in roughly the same color family.. and the curtains in the kitchen match each other. What--that's not enough? Now other crap has to go together, too?"
I think I might also do poorly in the class about planning and presentation of lovely meals, especially when commenting "So now he's too good to eat cold take-out pizza over the sink like the rest of us?" or "Why would I need to cook him dinner? There have to be four different kinds of Pop-Tarts in the cupboard."
There are no Knitingale children, but I am reliably informed that the smaller ones do not particularly care for holding still for long periods, certainly not long enough to pin cunningly designed clothing pieces on them prior to stitching them up cheerily in a beautifully designed living room, most likely while wearing a dress and high heels. In fact, I am also reliably informed that children tend to be sticky and damp much of the time and that stuff dribbles out of them....which makes the whole "home design" idea seem a tad impractical right from the get go. A friend of mine with several children once told me that the only interior designer that made any sense to her while her wee ones were still wee, was either the guy who invented Scotchguard or the guy who invented Hefty bags. Either way, she was excited when she could find the carpet under all the toys and really didn't know if things matched each other or the arrangement "flowed" until the last child graduated high school. By that time, she was really too tired to care.
I also noticed that there where certain gaps in the curriculum. For instance, there was nothing in there about communication or anything else to do with the marital relationship, nothing about money management (apparently that isn't a woman's job in those parts), nothing about simple home repair. Nothing about mixing drinks, either, which is a shame because I feel that many graduates of this program will end up wishing they knew how.
There are a number of "Ms. Knitingale Homemaking Tips", many of which I believe would successfully get me bannned from the entire STATE in which the college resides. Like:
- Buying carpet the exact color of cat vomit will save you a great deal of heartache and expense over the years. Also, they will be talking about you for YEARS down at Carpet Depot.
- Cookie dough is your friend. Especially for breakfast. A case can be made for it containing a number of wholesome ingredients in much the same way that a case can be made for purchasing 17 balls of to-die-for cashmere when you already have enough yarn to slipcover Romania.
- Nudism as a lifestyle sounds offputting...until you think about laundry day. Then, you gotta admit, it has it's perks. Okay, so my boobs don't have anything in the perk department anymore and maybe that's a good argument for keeping them covered....
- Pet hair on everything just makes life softer and warmer.
I'm going to run out to the mailbox now--I want to see if the college has sent me a request to speak as a guest lecturer for their Homemaking program. After that, I'll be looking for flying, flaming pigs.