Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tast of Home Show

We are going to set up for the Taste of Home Show from 2:00 pm till 7:00 pm in Larned today. Just doing a small booth to display our Country Smokers. Will bake some peach cobbler in the cooker to use for samples. May even run some specials on some of the CS 450 we have in stock to get them moved out.

Little Rock

What a weekend in Little Rock. Keelan and I left Thursday night and stayed in the trailer at a truck stop just east of Tulsa. Back on the road Friday morning and got to Little Rock about 12:30. We missed all the rain, ice and snow that some of the other had to drive in and for that I am thankful.

We could not get into the contest site until after 1:00 so they put us in a parking lot near the site and Keelan and I walked in to visit with friends. At that point it looked like electricity and a few other things were going to be issues since all the power was in the center of the two parking lots. As we headed back to the pickup, the rest of our group that was waiting to get in were pulling into the contest site.

We got in line and waited a bit to find out where to go, the "parking attendent" sent us to the end of the street on the far south side of the parking lot and said go ahead and park somewhere here. That was really a great spot, since Doug and Douger from Smoke in the Rokies was right beside us. We finally got power off of one of the light poles on the other side of the building away from the main parking lot which was great since we did not have to rely on the main generator that everyone else had to use.

We brought a tent, cooker and quite a few things for Diva Q from Canada since they flew in, and got their stuff unloaded. Was great to see Danielle again and finally meet her husband who she talkes about all the time. What troopers they all were, cooking a contest on borrowed equipment in the cold and rain - I really do admire their love for BBQ and tenacity to do what ever it takes to compete and be part of this wacky world of competition BBQ

Supper was the Irish Buffet at the Slab spot, acutally it was at Transformer BBQ, but Steph got it all together so.... Any way we feasted in Steak Soup, Irish Stew, Corned Beef, Italian Beef Sammies, Cabbage and Sausage, Rueben Dip, and Pizza. I don't think I have eaten that much for a long time - it was good! I lost count of how many times Keelan went back to the table, and I forget how much a 16 year old can eat!

Overall things went well. We did loose power for a while Friday afternoon and got it back and worked the rest of the time. I didn't forget any major ingredient or to preform any major process. A couple of things I should have done different, but really pretty minor in the big scheme of things. These first contests of the season are always interesting untill I get my groove back. The more contests I do, the more comfortable I get of what to do when and just exactly how all the timing works for everything.

We did get breakfast delivered Sat morning. Danielle from Diva Q dropped of a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, coffee and they even made a fattie sammich out of a couple of doughnuts. She set them on the back of the smoker and didn't tell me so they were all cold by the time I found them. Put the doughnut - fattie sammies back in the smoker to warm up and the frosting kind of caramelized and oooohhhh those were good, Keelan is still talking about them.

We did not score so well. Finished 43rd overall and did not get a call. Been a long time since I have been a member of the No Call Club. I thought my stuff was good, and expected a call in the top 20 at least, but did not expect to win or anything like that. Just kind of suprised on where we ended up. But I have learned over the years of doing this that it works this way sometimes, you can't let it bother ya and you go on to the next contest and make sure everything is the way you want it. God is in controll and I leave it all up to Him.

It was great to see old friends that we haven't seen since last fall. I did miss seeing quite a few people as well, just never enough time to get around to everyone. I did miss seeing Lee and Bobbie McWright of Pig Pals, they always bring a smile to my face when they are around.

Rio Rancho next week

Life Gets Busy

I know it has been a while since I have been able to updat the blog. Last week was full of activity getting ready to go to the contest in Little Rock. Had to finish getting the trailer ready, pack for the contest to leave a day early, prep meat, and keep the restaruant running and trying to be a family. Sometimes all that activity just does not allow time to keep up with the blog.

Monday, March 2, 2009

BBQ Appetizers and Desserts

The Great Bend Recreation Commission does a weekly Lunch N Learn program where they offer 30 minute courses for people to come and learn while they are eating lunch. We had done the program for these a couple of times before and they are quite fun.
On Tuesday March 3rd we will be presenting BBQ Appetizers and Desserts for the Lunch N Learn. We will be showing the students how to do different appetizers and desserts on their smoker or grill. So far I am planning on doing bacon wrapped tater tots, monkey bread (the cinnamon and sugar coated biscuits in a pie pan), and chicken wraps. We usually try to get audience participation by having them help make the different items that we are showing.
I will try to get some pics of the class and post them later.

Creekstone Briskets Cooked

I just pulled 20 of the creekstone briskets from the smoker. They were trimmed and seasoned yesterday afternoon and went in the smoker at 11:30 last night. At 7:30 this morning, I trimmed the points off and left the points in the smoker to finish cooking and brought the flats in to start cooling off.

I am really happy to be cooking the Creekstones again. A lot of that happiness is probably because that is what I have been cooking for the last 4 years and I know how to trim them and how they cook. But they are a more uniform product, and tend to cook more uniform when cooking large quantities and I think they produce a more moist product as well.