I went to visit some BBQ friends at a BBQ competition Friday after work since the competition was nearby. Well, when I arrived the guy was there all by himself. One of his partners had to work overtime because his company was switching 1,000's of clients to a new service over the weekend and his other partner's wife had an out-of-state death in the family.
I had originally stopped by just to chat and have a good time but when I saw he was alone I asked if he needed some help. He was so happy that I was willing to help. So I got a list of this he needed and picked them up on the way home. I got home around 10:00 pm and told my wife that I needed to leave early in the morning to help with the cook-off. It’s great to have an understanding wife! Saturday, I got up at 4:30 in the morning (only got 4 hours sleep) and headed to the cook-off. I was there all day long (from 5:15am ‘til 6:00pm) not a cloud in the sky, in a parking lot with no shade and forgot to bring any sunscreen lotion (at least none of the BBQ got burned ).
Now I didn’t do any of the cooking for this competition. Competing is expensive; you have traveling expenses, entry fees, the cost of meat – spices – equipment and other supplies, etc…. and he paid for everything, therefore he had everything to gain or lose so he took care of the cooking. I was there to lend a hand and take some of the pressure off. I tended the fire, handed stuff, carried stuff, tore off sheets of foil, helped clean up, etc…
I got to meet and talk with some of the other characters … I mean cooks, out there as well. Many of the folks around us took home prize money. One of the guys & his wife entered the “other” category which can be just about anything. They cooked pulled pork for their entry. When he found out that another guy cooked ribeye steaks, he proclaimed jokingly that he just blew $10 on a pork butt . Well when the awards were handed out they beat the steaks by 3 places and won $100!
We entered chicken, ribs, brisket, and chili. The chicken, brisket and chili all reached the finals tables but didn’t place . It was all very, very good food! I’ll tell you that I didn’t go hungry at all that day. This chili has won many contests and is very good.
All in all, it was a fun time. I always have a good time around BBQ. But on the flip side of the coin, competing is a lot of work. BBQ is fun work.