But while the brisket was certainly welcome, it was clearly baffling. First of all, no one had ever heard of a brisket. As far as I could tell they had barely heard of barbecue. Secondly--well, the first thing was the main thing. But it led to a lot of other things, if you know what I mean. I described how to cook it, in great detail ("just put it in the oven at a low heat for a couple hours"). I explained the use of the sauce. I approved cornbread and coleslaw as sides. I helped carve it--in thin stripes, not like a steak. For sandwiches the next day, I explained, the traditional bread would be a hamburger bun made with enriched flour and plastic sesame seeds. The table consulted. They thought maybe a dark rye, with the leftover coleslaw as the dressing?
As we ate the brisket, which we all agreed was awesome, my friend's brother commented that I was somehow unlike the other Texans he had met. More "easygoing," he thought--a strange word to use to describe me, and a strange word to not use to describe most Texans. We all enjoyed the meal. It was the first time beer had ever been served in the house's dining room.