|Rubbing Butts in Dixie Dirt|
Homemade Concoction Has Andalusia Couple
No ifs, ands or butts about it, when it comes to rubbing butts, nobody does it better than Jeff and Laquetta Grimes.
They’ve been rubbing butts down in Andalusia for about 13 years now. Folks all around the country have finally heard about it and the talk is spreading like wildfire.
"There are a lot of butt rubs on the market today, but none like ours," Jeff said, with a confident smile. "And, we’ve rubbed enough butts to know."
Dixie Dirt Butt Rub is not found in a lot of marketplaces, only about four on any given day, but it’s in kitchens all across the country and the demand is greater than the supply.
Jeff and Laquetta still have to pinch themselves to make sure they haven’t died and gone to hog heaven.
Who would have ever thought the concoction Jeff began putting together to rub a few butts at Auburn University football games would be the talk of the town?
"It all started with tailgating at Auburn," Jeff said. "I played around with different ingredients trying to find a rub that would give Boston butts the best flavor and not dry them out. I’d layer ingredients in an old crockery bowl, first one way and then another. Of course, there were less of the ingredients that went in the bottom of the bowl than there were those graduated toward the top.
"I’d try this blend and that until I finally got exactly the flavor I wanted. Every time I made the rub, I had to use the same bowl so it would be the same. Other than that, there was nothing scientific about it."
Nothing scientific could have been that good.
At football games as early as 1999, folks flocked to the Grimes family’s tailgate area and would pretty near come to blows over the butts with flavor-to-spare.
"If we didn’t have anything except a loaf of bread and a butt, that was enough," Jeff said, laughing. "Then, it got where our son would call and ask us to send three butts or four butts up to Auburn for different folks."
Then, folks started wanting to know what that stuff was on the butts so they could "rub their own butts."
Jeff would tell them a little of this and more of that, but he kept some things to himself.
He and his wife realized they were onto a good thing. And, if they played their cards right, there could be a market for their butt rub. Not only did it enhance the flavor of pork, it also gave steaks and fish a flavor of their own.
"The secret, we tell them, is in the way you rub your butt," Jeff said, with a smile. "Don’t soak it or poke it, just rub it!"
The couple knew, if they were going to market their butt rub, they had to have somebody to blend and package it for them and, too, they had to have a name for it.
"Getting somebody to blend it and package wasn’t easy because I’d never measured a single ingredient," Jeff said. "So, I had to start measuring each ingredient, all nine of them."
Jeff pulled out his old trusty bowl and Laquetta got the measuring cup. The exact measurements of the ingredients in the bowl had to be converted to "tonnage" and neither of the Grimes wanted to try to do the math on that.
However, Jeff was a little skeptical.
"He was afraid to turn loose of his ‘recipe,’ but we were assured it would be held a close-kept secret," Laquetta said. "And, if we wanted to market our butt rub, we had to give the recipe to someone."
But first, the butt rub needed a name.
"Somebody had said our rub left meat looking like somebody dropped it on the dirt and didn’t wash it off," Jeff said. "That caught my interest, so I got the idea to call the rub Dixie Dirt because it did look like dirt and Alabama is the heart of Dixie and Andalusia is the dimple of Dixie, so Dixie Dirt it is."
With a name like Dixie Dirt and a flavor so unique and distinct, the Grimes’ butt rub had a life of its own once it hit the shelves about a year ago.
"The best advertising you can get is word of mouth," Jeff said. "And word started to get around."
"Word" didn’t just get around, it traveled like a dust storm on the open desert.
"Folks started calling from all over the country saying, ‘Send me some dirt,’ and we’d get it right off to them," Jeff said. "Some folks would want a few bottles and some asked to send them a case. Sometimes folks would come knocking on the door wanting some ‘dirt.’ It’s been amazing how Dixie Dirt has taken off."
But, there was a Doubting Thomas or two along the way.
"We were cautioned that there are a lot of rubs on the market," Laquetta said. "We knew that, but we also knew there’s not one like Dixie Dirt. So we believed, if we could get it on the market, it would sell itself."
"Dixie Dirt has a lot going for it – the name and the oddity of it," Jeff said. "Not only does it look like dirt, it acts like dirt. It will clump up like dirt so it lives up to its name. But it puts flavor in meat like nothing I’ve ever seen before.
"You rub Dixie Dirt on one time, put the meat on the grill in a foil pan for about three hours around 300 degrees," Jeff said. "And never turn it. Most folks overcook their butts. You don’t want to cook them until they’re done. You take them off, wrap them and put them in a cooler and let them finish cooking in there.
"When you take them out and slice them, you won’t know a butt rubbed in Dixie Dirt from prime rib. It will be juicy and tender. You can believe me on that."
Dixie Dirt is good on pork, beef or fish. It’s good on roasted potatoes and you can eat it out of the palm of your hand.
Jeff and Laquetta recommend giving your butts a good Dixie Dirt rubbing and sit back and enjoy the best butts you’ve ever tasted.
Dixie Dirt’s out there, but it’s not all that easy to find. But they have hopes it will soon be on grocery shelves everywhere and folks won’t have to come looking for "dirt" at their door.
Jeff and Laquetta are always glad to talk Dixie Dirt. Just call (334) 222-7789 or 488-0802 and ask for advice on a good butt rubbing.
Jaine Treadwell is a freelance writer from Brundidge.