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A shoulder is so much better than a set of damp, pale, slightly hairy buttocks and a curly tail between them. Appetizing! I am fighting a terrible urge to name it Wilbur. Somewhere, my eight-year-old self is crying and clutching a copy of Charlotte's Web.
I want to try and cook pork butt so bad... but I don't ever remember why when I'm in the store so I pass it by. I guess I should see if I can figure out why to which I would guess it's because of a recipe.
I'm anxious to see what you do with your Wilbur Butt.
Ottercat, I LOVE this site too - and have made this recipe. So scrummy! However, I left the lid off for the last half hour of cooking to crisp up the crackling (the fat) so that it is crunchy. It is well worth cooking and very easy. Greetings Panda! Well done on your huge weight loss! You are doing brilliantly well (and so much better than me!). Keep up the good work.
I tell you what Panda. If I ever get the chance to fly over for a primal gathering and spot you, I shall wash my hands before running over screaming and bouncing around you excitedly. Because yes, I'm the kind of person who does that to strangers. Which, actually, is still weird for me to say as I used to be painfully shy.. O.o
GAAAAAHHHH Charlotte's Web. I love that book. SO VERY MUCH.
More than you want to know about processing a pig here.
It is delicious. Any time you want to know about eating pig, ask a Southerner
"If man made it, don't eat it." ..Jack LaLanne "It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are.
If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." ..Richard Feynman beachrat'snew primal journal
I looove pork butt (which is strangely enough called a Hand of Pork here). I make one at least once a month and devour it in 2 or 3 meals. My favorite cooking method is to combine minced fresh garlic, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and whatever else sounds good, with a bit of oil and rub over the pork. Then I put it in a baking dish, cover with foil, and roast for 3-4 hrs at 180C. After it's cooked, I set it on the cutting board to rest for a bit, then shred it up, and use the rendered fat/oil to pour over the meat to make it moist. So, so good.
Only 20.6 pounds stand between the number 166 and me. Technically, 166 pounds is still large on my small/medium frame. But it is where someone of 5’9” with a large frame would be considered within the range of normal, and that is where I am going to let it go. I am unlikely to ever see 137 pounds of panda again, the weight I was as a teenager when I let myself be convinced that little yellow pills would cure the sad faces on my feelings charts. But that is okay. If I continue to go down from 166, that is fantastic. If I don’t, 166 is a vastly different world from 231, and I will circle happy faces on my feelings charts to inhabit it.
Twenty point six seems like such a manageable amount, doesn’t it? If you’ve never had a weight problem, or only a tiny one, it may seem like a horrifying number. If you’ve had a severe weight problem, you might think that you’ve hocked loogies that weigh more than 20.6 pounds. (If you have done this, half of me never wants to know. The other half fervently hopes that you will write in and tell me all about it.)
I have had neither a small weight problem nor a severe one. Mine would probably qualify as moderate, so to have 20.6 pounds left seems daunting, and not too daunting at the same time. It’s two bags of Primal Coach Kitty’s kibble and a nice steak. I can lift that. I couldn’t lift the six-and-a-half bags of kibble that I needed to lose when I was 231. I would have thrown my back out and had to add a tick to the left column of my Injuries I Regret/Injuries I Celebrate list*.
Unless my body completely rebels, twenty point six can be done. It is not a frightening number. Frightening was when I needed to lose 65 just to eke into the normal range, and was 94 pounds from my college weight pre-drugs. My brain couldn’t even conceive of 94 pounds. It just seemed insane that my body had expanded so far, so fast, and so independently of me. I don’t know what it’s like to gain slowly over a few decades. Antidepressants attached my body to a helium tank and blew me up as quickly as a balloon in my second year of college.
PART TWO: Suddenly, eyes slipped off me like I’d been coated in wax. There exists an inverse relationship between weight and invisibility: the heavier you are and the more space you take up, ironically the more invisible you become. It was crushing. I was never in a Scarlett O’Hara circle of fawning beaux (oh well) in my freshman year, but I certainly wasn’t invisible. People saw me. They checked me out. They spoke to me. Beetlejuice** flirted, and even though his head was way too small for his body and I wasn’t remotely interested, I had been noticed.
But then I got my wax coat treatment, and I stopped going to parties because why get dressed up and go somewhere to be invisible? We are so much more than our weight, but it is our weight that we are judged upon. I blew up larger and larger and became more and more unseen, and thus retreated further and further. I backed myself all the way into a very bad relationship as my very first one in my junior year, because I figured that I couldn’t do any better, and would have to take what I could get.
Last week at Whole Foods, someone saw me. Usually, I move invisibly through the store, and if I can’t find something, I’m too shy to ask. But I was feeling okay in my body, which isn’t great, but is no longer gargantuan. I put aside my shyness to speak to an employee, and he saw me. I wasn’t a wax-coated blob before him asking for roast beef. There was intensity to his look, and I realized that I have regained some of the visibility that I lost. It was startling to be seen. He eagerly walked me clear across the store to show me where it had been moved, speaking a little flirtatiously.
There’s extra panda than there should be, but it’s not a giant amount. I’ve got my snazzy purple clogs, a nice outfit, and that returns some of the little store of confidence I once had in my appearance. It may sound silly that I put such weight into my weight. But at my heaviest, I looked sloppy. To become invisible made me ashamed. I’m sorry that my reaction to this at 19 was to cheapen my value to such a discount rate that the criteria for my first relationship was just the first person who came along. That’s horrible. But that is what I did.
In the 180s, someone saw me. I wonder what will come of the 170s. It may be that I have to develop some social skills, most left abandoned half-formed at 19 when the wax encased me. I am curious what will happen at 166. Just 20.6 pounds to go.
* You’re probably curious about what injury one celebrates. Silly reader. Don’t you remember back in school how happy you were when you got sick or hurt on the day of a test for which you were woefully unprepared? You felt like crap, but it was really, really okay.
In my youth, Mother Panda pushed hard to make a career musician out of me. I loathed everything about music, from the music itself to practicing to lessons to recitals to band to orchestra to competitions to the career. I received a wonderful injury to my hand while playing football one day in sixth grade. I was thrilled. It kept me from playing my instrument for a week. Did I diva up the damage to make it last a second week? Did I ever! To the kid who hurt me, THANK YOU.
** Ugh, Beetlejuice. I was seventeen and nervous to be at my first college party, and a boy appeared in front of me. His head was much too small for his body, reminiscent of Beetlejuice at the end of the movie when the witch doctor shrinks it. He offered his hand and I took it, and then he tickled my palm with his index and third finger and asked what sign I was. I almost screamed at how creepy it was, but instead I withdrew my hand and quipped STOP. If any of you out there include this slick move in your flirting rituals, Gay Panda asks that you remove it.