Sunday, August 2, 2009

Happy birthday Mr. Groneman

I can't think of any better way to celebrate your birthday than to dominate a field of talent laden barbecue cooks at a seventy-seven team contest. So that's just what Andy of Smoke on Wheels did this past weekend in Laurie, MO. Happy birthday Mr. Groneman.The weather was perfect. Very un-August like with extremely mild temps in the 70's and a light breeze. Heck, it even got down in the 60's at night. The setting was a green, grassy park, complete with tons of trees and hills. Oh the hills. I don't know how it happened exactly, but I was lucky enough to very close to turn-in. I had always heard how hilly and hot the Hillbilly BBQ contest was. I feel extremely lucky to have experienced neither. Heck, with Fishboy present, the forecast even called for up to an 80% chance of rain during turn-ins on Saturday and even that missed us.


Perhaps the highlight of the weekend was a little incident that occurred late Friday night. To contribute to the Friday night birthday dinner celebration, I brought two pies, a cream cheese cherry pie and a butterscotch cream pie. It was suggested that I retain the butterscotch pie for later use as part of this yet unknown sacrifice during a 12:00 AM ritual. Translation: We were going to eat that pie at midnight. The idea was even presented to me in a way that made me believe this was a little known tradition. I later discovered that the actual tradition was that Squeal of Approval serves macaroni and cheese at their site at midnight. Typically, no pies are harmed in this tradition.So about 11:30 PM we were all looking a little tired. By all, I mean Steph, Kyle and Val of TheSlabs.com, Chris and Neal of Dodge County Smokers, Grant Miller and myself. Then someone commented that it was time to call it a night. But that couldn't be. See, I had this pie in one of my coolers and I needed to get it out as I would need that cooler space the next day. Somebody was going to eat that pie. So, before the party could break up, I marched over to my site and returned with the pie. A bit reluctant, Val took charge, gathering up a few paper plates and some forks. Nobody offered up a knife to cut the pie, so from her seated position, using the side table of her Director's style chair, Val began using two of the plastic forks to "serve" the pie. As the pie's original owner, I was honored with the first "piece", a blob about the size of a tennis ball. Val must have decided that it was too awkward to dispense the pie from that side table using those forks because just after handing me the first serving, she got up from her chair, and just as she did, the pie slid off the side table, smashing to the ground, business side down. The whole thing happened in slow motion. For a moment there was complete silence as the pie laid in the grass in all it's glory, pan side up. Then, almost in unison as Kyle made a comment about physics, we all began to laugh. And laugh we did. Looking back, I don't know if it was really all that funny or if we were all just that tired, but we all had a good, hard laugh. Making matters even more funny, Val instantly began scooping the pie from the ground onto a paper plate with two of the forks, being careful not to scoop so deep as to break through to the ground. And as she did it, we laughed harder. I'm not sure she had thought it through when she began to try save the pie, rather I think she was just embarrassed and this was the only thing she could think to do. Either way, it added to an already hilarious situation. Asked whether is was $14 worth of fun, I answered "absolutely."Pellet Envy finished third at the Hillbilly Cook-off in Laurie, Missouri. That finish was a total shocker as we only received one top ten call, a seventh place in pork. Our chicken finished 17th, our ribs finished 34th and our brisket finished 11th. I'm going to be totally honest here, I thought it was a good cook with the exception of the ribs. I've had a little trouble with the ribs the last four events. That day they were a little over cooked and the judges caught me. Good for them. TheSlabs.com recieved a perfect 180 for their pork entry. Congrats to them. Those 180's are extremely difficult to come by these days, let along one where every judge awards the best possible score (999). It was awesome to witness. Wonder if we'll see a pork video from them in the near future?This week we're off to Dillon, Colorado for the BBQ at the Summit event. Some of you may remember this event was where the shortest career in barbecue vending began and ended. We won't make that mistake ever again. This weekend we're just competing and we're excited about that. See you all the bbq trail!

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dyana said...
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