Sunday, August 28, 2011

New Holland Summerfest 2011

We had a great time at New Holland Summerfest again in spite of Hurricane Irene and the dire weather forecast.
Irene was lady enough to hold off her approach until after the awards ceremony. Five teams decided to sit this one out due to the weather so instead of the usual 72 teams, only 67 teams were on hand. Norma and I arrived early Friday morning and put up the new 10 x 20 canopy and were followed by Brian, Stephanie, Bertie and Pat, then Mike and Trina and Michael & Maddie. Ron v2.0 was unable to make this one due to other commitments. Friday was actually very nice weather wise and the usual site and food preparations proceeded smoothly. For those of you familiar with this competition, you know that there are three distinct sections to the park. Once you’ve competed at New Holland, you usually get the same spot year after year. Our site is located in the Far West section. This section is the furthest from the judges and turn in location, but generally have larger sites. We are very fortunate to have this location. We have great neighbors on either side with nobody in back or front of us, so we have room to spread out somewhat.

After setting up the site and having our meats inspected, we started our meat prep and this is where our routine
set in and we go about our business in a somewhat orderly fashion. Our only hiccup was the sausage. We mix and grind our own, but for some reason the hand grinder we use wouldn’t fasten to the table firmly. This made for some pretty comical actions and we had to adapt on the fly and change our plans. We made sausage balls instead of sausage links, but we thought they turned out very good. I have to hand it to Brian for his recipe and
enthusiasm for this category. He was up to at least 3:00AM putting the finishing touches on it. The cooks on the other meats went smoothly and our turn ins were on time. Immediately after the last turn in, we started breaking down the site because we wanted to leave as soon as possible due to the approaching storm. Some of the teams decided not to stay for the award ceremony. We had mixed emotions because we heard they might close the bridges over the C & D Canal which we had to cross to get home. Mike & Trina decided to not take the chance and headed out before the awards to be our scouts.

We thought our cook went well and hoped for some good results. Well we did get some good and some not so good finishes. We placed 14th in sausage, our first entry and 9th in Chef’s Choice. The four meats were next and we waited. Chicken brought us a 5th place with a plaque and check. A 1st place in Ribs shocked me and I was in a bit of a daze while receiving the trophy and check. Pork and Brisket didn’t fare well with a 33rd and 41st place respectively. We did finish 8th overall which made us very happy. Any top 10 finish with the level of competitors that were there made us very happy.

I would like to thank the friends and family that braved the weather predictions and visited us. This is one of the reasons we do this activity. The ride home was a little stressful due to the storm, but made easier with the finish we had. We were relieved to see the bridge still open and ran into the house after removing the cold items and a few other essentials and left the rest ‘till the next day. Clean up and restocking of the trailer took longer than normal because of the high winds and we took two days to complete it. Next up is Shrewsbury, PA in 2 weeks. If you’re in the neighborhood, stop by and say hello.

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