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Loaves and Dishes: Smokin’ that butt, but for a good cause

Sometimes before I write this column I look for food jokes on the internet and incorporate them into my article. You think that I am this funny on my own? Boy, have I got you fooled! Now you know that I have a team of comedy writers and they consist of anonymous internet memes. I’m so busted.

Today, however, in my search, I went down a rabbit hole looking for strawberry jokes because I intended to write about strawberry pie, freezing strawberries and all the spring/early summer recipes that I typically love this time of year. However, while in the rabbit hole, an Alice in Wonderland left turn happened and I ended up looking at articles about dogs reunited with their owners after a very long time (sometimes years). The joy and happiness in those photos is palpable and I’m sitting here now with tears streaming down my face.

This whole scene reminds me of some of the things that I have witnessed while volunteering at The Friends of Stokes Shelter (FOSS). Do you know about FOSS?

FOSS is a nonprofit organization that benefits homeless pets that have come into the county’s Animal Shelter. FOSS takes adoptable animals from the shelter and houses, vets, feeds, cares for, exercises and simply loves them until a suitable forever home can be found.

You might be wondering what this has to do with food. Reminder Wendi, you write a FOOD article for The Stokes News, not a FOSS article.

But here’s where food comes into the deal. This weekend FOSS is holding a fundraiser at The Green Heron in Danbury and it’s all about food! Smoked Boston butt with a cavalcade of sauces, coleslaw, baked beans, Brunswick stew and a roll are on the menu. Dave Hoskins, owner of The Green Heron, is donating a free brew, too (or we have other offerings for those who don’t partake). Skip Staples has arranged for live music from noon to 3 pm

Yours truly is doing the cooking and I’m super hopeful that you’ll log onto the FOSS website and buy your ticket to help this great cause! Plus, you can sign up to purchase a quart of Skip’s special Durham recipe Brunswick Stew. We’ve had multiple reports that it’s the best around. You won’t want to miss it!

That said, supposing that you want to prepare your own Boston Butt but don’t have a big ol’ smoker like mine (butts go on sale at Food Lion about every six weeks or so for 99 cents per pound and they feed an army) , I’ve got a recipe for you! It’s easy and you can simply throw it in and forget it. Then, use your favorite sauce, whether a vinegar Lexington-style sauce or a bottled red sauce like Sweet Baby Rays or Bone Suckin’ Sauce (both are good). Serve as a plate or put on a bun and enjoy!

Better yet, and even easier, visit the FOSS website at and follow the link to buy a ticket to Butts, Brews and Stew, where I’ll just cook it for you and then we can enjoy a plate together

1 5-7 lbs. Boston butt pork roast

40 oz. of Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce

¼ cup strawberry jam

1packet Ranch dressing mix powder

1 tbsp. garlic powder

1 tbsp. onion powder

1 Tb. ground pepper

2 tbsp. lemon-juice

salt to taste

Twenty-four hours before you plan to serve it, place the Boston Butt into a large (about 6 quart) crock pot with the fat side up. (If you use a smaller crock pot, you might need two.) You want to be able to comfortably put the lid on. Put the lid on and cook on low overnight. Do not add water or anything else; just plop it in there, put the lid on and turn it on low.

Four hours before you plan to serve, test the roast. It should fall apart with a fork. If it doesn’t, it isn’t ready for the other ingredients yet. Use a ladle and scoop out as much of the liquid in the crock pot as you can until there is only about an inch left in the bottom. Remove the bone and discard. Remove any big unsightly chunks of fat. Add all of the other ingredients all at once and then gently – oh so gently so as not to turn your BBQ into mush – break up the meat and stir in the other ingredients.

Put the lid on and continue to heat on low until time for dinner. Serve warm. I like to allow guests to serve their own from a chafing dish, but I have also served from the crock pot. Serve on small buns with sides of coleslaw, pickles, mustard, extra sauce or any other toppings your mates might enjoy.

Wendi Spraker is CEO, Food Writer, Recipe Developer and Dish Washer at and one of the Dorks with Sporks duo, a mother-daughter Adventure in Take-Out podcast. Find them on our website at Dorks with Sporks or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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