I'm finally upWell, I'm finally half alive. After Debi and Jessie left we partied it up for a little while during the "pack up" process with a few fellow competitors and the promoters.
Right around the time I was preparing to help take down the tent, I got a message on the phone that Debi had made it home..................doing at least 90 mph Debi??? You naughty girl!
I'm currently working on getting my voice back, catching up on my sleep and unloading the truck to get it ready for the next festival.
All in all I think we did a respectable job in the comp considering the inability to practice anything on these smokers. Unfortunately having already established my "taste" as a winning recipe, my goal is always to try and duplicate it on a competition legal smoker. If I learned one thing, it is that it may very well be pretty much impossible. I have yet to see another smoker put out the juicy meat mine does.
Debi did accomplish for us a lot of things we didn't have on last year's borrowed smoker. The smoke ring was definitely nice and red and I have to agree, we would have had to go double or even triple on the rub to get any of the flavor I get with the electric. It's nice to know how much money I"m saving in spices as I don't have to use much with my smoker to get a lot of flavor.
The guy next to us was definitely a little annoying. Constant "one upmanship" made any conversation with him more than pompous, and the sky high banners he displayed for a few first and second place awards was considered grandoise by more than Debi and I.
Thank god we had another 99 teams over the course of two days to hang with. All in all I had a blast as usual but came home sick as a dog. The things we do for barbecue.
Debi, it was soooo nice meeting you and Jessie. I'm holding you to coming down next year for the backyard contest and to keep trying to help me figure out how to get the Desperados taste done on a competition model.
Debi kept my dishes sparkling clean, my hopes up, and my fire up to temp when the going was more than "tough".........at least it didn't snow.
Jessie, thank you too for all the stocking of supplies, the vivd stories of what it's "really" like to live with Debi and her smoking meat habit, and all the laughs. It's nice to meet someone that believes it's five o clock somewhere and a bloody mary BEFORE breakfast is normal competition behavior.
Other than a trip to Bob Evans for breakfast during the first days monsoon, Debi was fed cornbread crumbs for her hard work. Even the coffee was rationed due to only having a three cup french press. lol......eventually we figured to keep her alive we'd break out some salsa and chips but believe it or not we were so damn busy most of the weekend vending that we never got the chance to really eat a real meal.
Thank god for hot sauce samples at the other people's tents and the samples they brought us or we would be dead from starvation.
More later on this comp for anyone interested in joining us next year. Maybe we could line up fifty smokers, I could cook on my Friedrich, and the closest to my recipe that comes out could go in for the judges. I'll try to talk George the promoter into having a new category for largest team with the most smokers so we at least get a ribbon and a check for our efforts..........lol
Anyone game? Let's start planning! I think Debi will tell you, as hard as it was, it was a great time and the competition is tough. There are plenty of people that have come year after year that do nothing all year but compete, so we have lots to be proud of.............especially that for Debi's first competition and the only one I do annually that 19 teams placed behind us. Not bad at all.
Come on down to Clarence guys if you think you have the stamina it takes to stay up round the clock and cook, the guts to sleep in 40 degree weather without modern amenities, and willing to bathe in a semi heated bathroom with a 12 inch sink. Oh and be prepared to make lots of friends cause these folks (sans our neighbor) are the best of the bunch. Congratulations again, to Dirty Dick, Lunch Meat, my bestest competition bud, Donnies Smokehouse and all the rest of the competitors that got that glorifying call to the stage.