Monday, August 30, 2010

New Holland Summerfest & BBQ

Pigheaded BBQ competed at the 2010 New Holland Summerfest on 8/27-28. This venue and the organizers continue to make New Holland, one of our favorite competitions. Unlike last year, this years weather was just about perfect. Not too hot, no rain and just a hint of a chill in the air at night. Some of the categories changed for this year one of which got us a little excited. The organizers switched from sausage to a chili category and we were happy to try that out. More on that later.
I think we set a record in attendance by friends and family at one of our comps. We were supported by many of each and they made us feel special. Thank you for your support. Of course we did feed them, so I wonder which they were really here for?

Norma and I were met early Friday morning by Brian who helped us set up our site. We actually brought an extra canopy in anticipation of the expected throng of visitors. This gave us some extra room and enabled us to do our work and still have room for most if not all who showed up. Mike, Trina, Michael and Maddie arrived around noon and Stephanie and Bertie and Pat arrived around the same time. Some fine tuning to the site was done and prep work begun for the 6 categories we were entering. The only category we didn't enter was whole hog. We just don't have the equipment to do that yet.

After set up and initial prep work was done, I like to walk around and visit some of the other teams that are there. Most of them we know and I try to meet as many new teams as possible, but that doesn't always work out. I did manage to visit a couple of the food vendors though, as it's most important to keep up my energy levels for the chores ahead. At least, that's what I tell everyone.

Norma started working on the chili, assisted by Trina and Brian started on his Chef's Choice category. This was a prelude to the final prep work being done on the four meats that make up the core of all of our competitions. Chicken, Ribs, Pork and Brisket would be turned in in 1/2 hour increments starting at noon on Saturday. By late evening, Norma, the grandchildren and Bertie and Pat were safely ensconced at the hotel for the night while we set about putting the big meats on the smokers starting at 11:00PM. After the Brisket was put on at 1:00AM, I retired for the night while Mike & Brian stayed up watching the fires and whatever else they does in the middle of the night.

I got up at 4:45AM and gave Mike a break, then started final prep for the ribs. By 6:00AM we were ready for the coffee and breakfast supplied by the organizers. Big Mike was really eying up those "Long Johns" that were from Achenbach's Pastries I believe, but much to his credit, only one was consumed. Well by him at least, I won't say how many I ate. After breakfast, it was back to work and the pace picks up a bit. The cook went reasonably well and by 11:30, Chef's Choice was turned in. After the Chili was turned in at 2:00PM, the left over food was put out for our guests and family and I don't think anyone went home hungry. After that was awards time at 4:30PM

We all gathered by the stage and found some empty ground and set our chairs up waiting to hear our name called. The first name called was Pigheaded BBQ for 10th place in Chef's Choice. Brian did us proud and he,Michael and Maddie went up on stage to receive our ribbon for 10th place. The next category was Chili and Pigheaded BBQ was again called. This time for 9th place and Norma, our new "Chili Queen" went up with her entourage and accepted the 9th place ribbon. The next category we were entered in was Chicken. We again heard Pigheaded BBQ, this time for 7th place. Ribs brought us another ribbon, this time for 12th place and an honorable mention. We didn't hear our name called for pork or brisket, but overall were were thrilled to have won 4 ribbon's and a check for our efforts. I think we did ourselves proud. While there's definitely room for improvement, we were happy with the food we turned in, the good time we had with friends and family and after all, that's what this endeavor is all about.

Next up is the 2nd Annual Southern York County BBQ in Shrewsbury, PA on Sept 10-11. Hope to see you there.

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