Well, we've had about enough of this cold, windy, wet weather. So far, every weekend we've cooked but one (think Hammond, LA), has been bad barbeque weather. I've never run the heater in our trailer so much or had to wear pants so often in a bbq season. But I digress . . .
Pellet Envy received three top ten calls in the four categories this weekend. Honestly, we were happy considering we cooked on two brand spanking new FEC-100's with the top of the line IQ4 controllers. These two units were mounted on our trailer last Monday by none other than Fast Eddy himself. He's the creator of these pits. They are part of a new marketing partnership with Cookshack. We've been very, very lucky to work out sponsorship arrangements with companies that produce products we already use and love. I didn't get a chance to season them or cook on them. So, when we arrived at the event Friday, I fired them up with the idea that they'd just run until it was time to cook. Probably not real smart on my part, but as Miles in Risky Business would say, "sometimes you just gotta say "what the F#@&k", make your move."
We tanked the pork category. Even so, we liked our pork and it's been far and away our most consistent category this year, never finishing worse than sixth place until last Saturday. Sometimes that's just the way the ball bounces. Ironically, we won the People's Choice award for best pork. The contest gave us two butts. We cooked them, pulled them and delivered them in a half pan to an area where the public could sample pork entries from all 36 teams for a $1, voting on their favorite. That took a little of the sting out of seeing our finish. Three calls is pretty strong in a field of 36 when nobody gets four calls. However, when they call the top ten overall and you're not in it, you know something went south on you. So, I say "Power to the people!" They know good food. LOL.
Congrats to Fred of Four Mile Smokin' Crew on what I believe was his first ever Grand Champion. Also, congrats to Chris and the gang of Early Bird BBQ on their strong Reserve Grand Champion finish. This was a nice contest. It was in a park overlooked by City Hall in St. Joseph. The cities largest parade strolled down a street that bordered the park. The estimated attendance for the parade was 20,000 according to the contest organizer. If the weather had been better, I know the attendance for the contest would have been awesome. Tom Supple did a great job. He has a VERY dry sense of humor and I know he'd be a blast to be around. This weekend he had a lot on his mind but did a great job despite some weather related obstacles.
The picture is of Father Time, ummmmmm . . .Johnny Trigg taking a break on the deck of my trailer wearing what he called his "toboggan." We tried to tell him that was a sled, but you know how the old man gets sometimes. Looks like he sat on a nail, doesn't it? You may also recognize my old teammate Mark Darrah of Extreme Pork fame, standing with him. Mark was kind enough to come all the way up to St. Joe to help Old School out on Saturday. Johnny said he was a big help. Mark also attended the Lebanon, TN and Hunstville, AL classes with me. He was a great help for those events also. Thnx to Steph, Val and Kyle of TheSlabs.com with Jeff and Tammy of Big Creek BBQ for hosting dinner on Friday night. I couldn't quite make out the original shape of the pasta in the main course, but it was awesome anyway. Luckily Steph learned from her chili days too. Also, thnx to Steph for organizing the breakfast pot luck again this weekend and thnx to everyone who participated. There's nothing better than a hot breakfast on a cold, windy morning.
We're off to Pine Bluff, Arkansas this weekend in hopes of defending our title. Everybody knows that lightning doesn't strike twice, but we're going to give it a go. See you all on the bbq trail!