Saturday, May 25, 2013

2013 Middletown Recap

The 2013 Middletown BBQ Cookoff has come and gone, but left us with indelible memories. This competition holds a special place in our heart, as it's our hometown competition and we usually have a lot of guests that stop by. Sorry to our neighboring teams if the throngs (LOL) posed a problem. This competition changed venues last year to Frightland, a local favorite during the Halloween season noted for it's scary haunted tours. Another use for this land are the 2 Mud Runs held annually. The charity supported for all events held here are The Leukemia Research Foundation, a truly deserving charity indeed. What didn't change was the great organizers for this event: Mose Zook& Benuel Riehl from the Middletown Farmer's Market and the Middletown Area Chamber of commerce. As someone mentioned on Facebook following this years event, these folks could give classes on how to organize a BBQ competition. Thank you for all your hard work.We had an eye on the ever changing weather forecast because this venue is a large section of open farmland which could be interesting in the event of a heavy rain. The forecast seemed to change daily and indeed, we seemed to dodge a bullet. Norma and I took the trailer over on Thursday. We took advantage of the whopping 3.6 mile drive and decided to set up early because I had a small catering job that included a Friday pick up and wanted to get set up and prep during the daylight as the power wouldn't be turned on 'till Friday morning. Thursday was an absolutely perfect weather day and the prep and cook went very smooth. I stayed onsite while Norma spent the night at home. At least she didn't have to listen to the rumble strips at the toll booths on Rt. 1 which was just on the other side of Rt. 13 which fronts Frightland.Friday arrived and was another beautiful day. The rest of the team arrived throughout the day and preparations went on for the Chef's Choice and Dessert categories which was due to be turned in at 7:00 & 7:30PM respectively. Meat inspections were held and the prepping the big meats also took place. I would like to thank one of our sponsors, Fordham Brewery for their generous donation of assorted brews. Not only ourselves, but numerous other competitors and judges enjoyed them throughout the day and evening. They really helped to keep us in the mood and enjoy ourselves in the midst of all the prep work and evening socializing. Our site was situated on the end of a row and we had 2 great neighbors, 3 Eyz to one side and Hawg Nation to the rear of us. You can't ask for better neighbors. After the ancillary category turn ins, we had dinner at the site. Trina made the Jambalaya this time along with numerous other morsels and if you were hungry, it was you own fault. Friday evening brought the clouds and the cooler weather and we settled in for the night after putting the big meats on the smokers and had a few more beverages.Saturday morning brought about the usual prep and cooking of the chicken and ribs as well as tending the big meats. The organizers had a breakfast for the competitors, but most of us skipped this for a very nutritional breakfast of donuts from the Farmers Market and a couple of us had scrapple, cheese and egg sandwiches. Thanks to the 2 Annie's for these treats. Aside from a minor (we hoped) mistake with rib timing, (my fault), the cook went pretty smoothly and offered our entries to the judges. We hoped they would be kind and we went about the task of cleaning up. We weren't in a big hurry to break down the site as we usually do, because of the lack of a long drive home. As awards time neared, we grabbed our chairs and ambled over to the stage area and listened to the last few songs sang by a local group "No Strings Attached". We enjoyed the group and waited.At last, the KCBS Reps took the stage and the awards ceremony started. The first category was Chef's Choice and 1st place was won by............. PIGHEADED BBQ. After much whooping and hollering, we waited for the next category, Dessert. This category was won by.......PIGHEADED BBQ. Needless to say we were thrilled at how the awards were starting. The KCBS categories were next and Chicken was announced first. 7th place Chicken was......PIGHEADED BBQ. We didn't hear our name called for Ribs. Pork was next and again we heard PIGHEADED BBQ, this time for 4th place. We were very excited and waited with baited breath for the Brisket category, but alas we didn't hear our name called for that. The final categories were GC, RGC and Best Delaware team. They started out calling the top 5 teams from 5 up and when they got to 3rd Overall they announced PIGHEADED BBQ as "Top Delaware Team" and 3rd overall out of 56 teams. We went a bit nuts as we really wanted the Best Delaware Team award after missing out on it the last 3 years and this is only the 2nd time we finished as high as 3rd overall. Even the rain that fell during awards couldn't dampen our joy at the results. Congrats to our good friends, Dave Marks of Wilbur's Revenge for his first GC and Mike Richter of Chix Swine and Bovine for RGC. Couldn't happen to 2 nicer guys. As usual, thanks to all our sponsors, friends and family who came out to support us and again, thanks to the organizers for another great event. Next up for us is "Que for the Troops" in Levittown, PA on 5/31-6/1. Hope to see you there.

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