Why Build a Hillbilly Hamhouse?
The thing is, I’s spose to make me something for to give away at Christmas. That’s what it started out as, ennyhow. I’s made sum burnt-wood pitchers in past y’ars, and oncet I made me a walkin’ stick outta some branch what fall on th’ roof one night. Man, I ‘lowed I’d never make one a’ them again, I’s sandin’ and planin’ and I dunno what-all, fer days and days, to that there walnut stick, tryin’ to get me 8 flat sides on the durn thang. So’s I could put me sum writin’ on it, don’tcha know. Ennyhow, It turned out all righ’, I reckon, leastways dotter Meg she said she lakked it real good. I’m still pickin’ sawdust outta my store-boughts, though. And, lemme tell y’all, thar ain’t nothin’ worse than bitin’ down on a good ol’ roastin’ ear and findin’ a walnut chip ‘tween yer gums and yer store-boughts.
Ennyway, dotter Rachel—she runs this cornpewter thang what’s called a bee-log, must be somethin’ to do with honey, I dunno—she done axed me to write me up somethin’ on how the hamhouse got bilt. Now I calls it a hamhouse, y’ know, cuz that sounded kinda high-toned fer them city folk what I done it fer. But ‘tween you ‘n me, t’ain’t nothin’ but an ol’ box for smokin’ some good ol’ pig parts. Anyway, she axed me to tell y’all how it wuz done.
I’d done decided I wasn’t gone make me no more wood stuff this y’ar. Mostly cuz my ga-rage’s all full up wi’ dotter Heather’s furniture an’ stuff, and I weren’t gonna blow sawdust all over all them nice things what she picked up down at the Goodwill store. I done that last y’ar and it warn’t pretty when the little woman seen what I done. My wife Cindy, she come out thar to that ga-rage and lak to bust a blood vessel when she seen all that sawdust all over that purty stuff out thar. I tried to tell ‘er I’s just coverin’ up the mouse turds, but when I showed ‘er that she swell up and ‘bout passed out cold.
Ennyhow I decided then and thar I’s not makin’ ennymore wood stuff till I had me a ga-rage back. I thought about usin’ dotter Sarah’s ol’ room, but i’s full o’ some more dotter’s stuff an’ ol’ squirrel pelts an’ fiddles an’ I dunno what-all, so I’s just givin’ up the belt-sander and workin’ with wood fer naow.
Lord how I do run on...ennyhow, about the hamhouse. I’s allus loved me some bacon, and barbecue, and I even lak me that smoked salmon, too, tho the boys down at the barbershop think I’s gone city on ‘em, eatin’ on that fish, all hoity-toity alder-wood juniper-berry cured smoked pickled, an’ sliced up real purty. Ennyway, I done heard you caint make bacon in a reg’lar barbecue pit, you gots to have a real smoke-house, so the smoke she get good and cold ‘fore it hit that meat. And it takes all kinda other stuff to make real smoked meats and stuff, I heard, so I figgered I’d just never get to make it. Shoot, the meat-cutter does a plumb good job with bacon, so I’s jest let it be.
Now an’ also, thar’s no way in the worl’ a married man lak me is gonna get away with spending hours an’ hours putterin’ aroun’ buildin’ some thang when he orta be cuttin’ the grass or some blamed thang. Exceptin’ when it’s Christmas. Then’s the time when all the wimmenfolk go plumb crazy and figger all us gone crazy too, and then’s the time we-uns menfolk can gets us somethin’ done. So I done decided I’d make me up a right fine cold smokin’ hamhouse and smoke me up some Christmas presents.
Stay tuned tomorrow for Part 2: Construction.