After a two year hiatus from Osage City, Kansas, this past weekend we returned to the Smoke In The Spring event, now in it's sixth year. My, what two years has done for this event as 69 teams converged on this small central Kansas town. Winners of the inaugural event in 2004 when there were about half the number of teams, Corey Linton and the gang accepted the torch from Don Cawby and ran with it . . . . . fast!
Johnny Trigg and I double dipped on Friday evening, dining with Jarrod and the Pork Me Purple team. Pork chops, potatoes cooked with onion and bacon and green beans made for the perfect, down home meal. Then we sauntered across the isle and sampled Mexican night hosted by Early Bird BBQ. With a plethora of offerings from over a dozen teams, the choices were bountiful but we were able to keep our wits about ourselves. Finally, the gang got back together for breakfast, again hosted by Chris and Jana Early. Grits casserole, potato casserole, smoked sausage, almond cherry coffee cake, breakfast burritos, biscuits and gravy, bacon and bloody marys rounded out the menu. We ate well in Osage City this past weekend. Thnx for Steph for organizing the meals. She's such a giver.
Except for lows in the 30's on Friday night, the weather was good and we had plenty of sunshine. Turn-in's were uneventful. Everything came out about like expected except the ribs. For whatever reason, about the only attribute we could taste was the heat. No sweet, no savory, no real balance. Tenderness was perfect and they looked awesome, but they just lacked flavor. So, we did what we could and sent them on their way. Here's how it all shook out:
Chicken - 20th
Ribs - 12th
Pork - 9th
Brisket - 6th
Overall - 6th
We were happy with our finish in a very tough crowd. Several great teams took some lumps in Osage City. I know they'll come out swinging at their next event. Speaking of which, we're off to the Capitol City Cook-off in Jefferson City, MO. Hosted by good friend Bruce Ring who is recovering from back surgery, we've battled some pretty rough weather there the past two years. We're hoping Bruce and the boys catch a break and the sun shines on Jeff City this weekend. We were lucky enough to win the first event here two years ago. We're hoping we can turn it into a "win it every other year" type situation. See you all there!