Monday, March 16, 2009

Little Rock, Arkansas

While we cooked our first contest of the year at New Year's down in Felda, Florida. In my eyes, Smoke on the Water is the official kickoff to our BBQ season. Nothing better to kick off the year than a $50,000 contest with 133 teams coming from all over the US to compete!

The last time I was down in Arkansas, was for the Pine Bluff contest. On our way home, Alex (Dr. Porkenstein) and I got to drive through 2 tornados on the way home. This trip was uneventful. Had a little rain/snow once I hit Arkansas, but nothing to really make the roads bad. I did realize that I was truly in Arkansas, when I was on I-40 and saw a box in the middle of the expressway. Then I saw an object with a truck stopped and a guy running back to get the object... It was a deer head!!! I knew I had arrived when I saw him running after the deer head, that obviously flew out of the back of his truck.

This was a fun contest. They loaded everyone in hour intervals to their spots. I thought that would be a mess, but it turned out OK. The rain held off until we were all set-up. My sister flew down for this contest and came over while I was at the cooks meeting. Which the mud/grass was unbelievable for this cooks meeting. It was like a bog. Amazing they ever got the judges in there on Saturday, that's how wet it was!

Steph from set up a dinner feast with a St. Patrick Day theme. I of course brought Italian Beefs, by request... I also did bring some Green River soda, just so I could keep the "green" theme. We had dinner over at the I Smell Smoke camp. We had everything from corned beef, Irish stew to soup. I really liked the stew and the soup... As it was rainy and a bit cold by then. I enjoy getting together with friends from all over the country for these feasts. So while I give Steph a hard time, I do enjoy them!!!

The evening was uneventful. My back was killing me the next day and I am not sure why. It seemed to put me always a minute behind for the morning though. As the Advil's were just not working! I was so out of sorts, that I missed the 9:22 am good luck shot. Fortunately, I was able to hit the next one at the 4 Legs Up camp.

We got through the turn-ins without a hitch. We were happy in the 4 categories that we turned in for the day. I knew we had the kiss of death when my sister and I each ate 3 ribs. Even had a side bet with Smokey Joel. He won, as the judges didn't seem to like my ribs. Then again, they didn't seem to really think much of anything we turned in. We got a call for 13th place brisket. Nothing to jump up and down about, but some days you have what the judges are looking for and other days you don't. This contest was one of those that we didn't have what they were looking for. While I knew my chicken wasn't "spot on", I had confidence in my other 3 categories. Oh well, we move on and try again at the next contest!

The winners were Myron Mixon and his Jack's Old South team for Grand Champion and Pellet Envy for Reserve Grand Champion. I talked with Myron on the way to awards and wished him luck, but it didn't look like he needed it. Rod just seems to own Arkansas. He has been joking that he is going to be moving down to those parts, with the success that he has had in Arkansas! Honestly, if I wore hats that color, I would be hiding in Arkansas too! If anyone needs a nice Greased Lightning hat, Rod has a couple extra's!!!

Cancer Sucks!



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