Apr 262010

1st place Chicken, 10th place Ribs, 7th place Brisket, 5th Overall/59 Teams

1st place Chicken!

Barnesville has always been a lot of fun as a contest, and has also grown and improved each year. This one was no different.

My friend Jimmy rode up with me so he could hold a private class for a cook team up there. We arrived around midnight on Thursday. He had a hotel and I stayed at my trailer. I slept in a little Friday which felt great after the long drive.

I was pleased with my scores – especially 1st place Chicken  – and got what I deserved, except in Pork. My turn in was as good as it ever was, but instead of having a top 10 call in it, I ended up in 31st place. And the worst part was that I won my table in pork, meaning I was on a very low scoring table. Some times that’s the breaks though, better luck next time.

Special thanks to Sister Mary for running my boxes to turn in for me, you were a big help! Also to Jimmy for his help, and everyone else who pitched in to help the gimp. Two more weeks.

Hi to Kathy (high school friend) who now lives in Barnesville. She surprised me with a nice visit.

And lastly, we had some excellent pizza Saturday night. If you’re ever in Barnesville check out the pizza place right down town. Good stuff!

 Posted by at 1:37 pm
Apr 212010

Suncoast BBQ Bash, Venice FL , April 16-17
11th Chicken, 1st Ribs, 3rd Pork, 1st Brisket, GRAND CHAMPION/33 Teams!!

Grand Champion!

This first year event was my first since the ankle surgery. I brought Woody along to help since I’m still on crutches and needed a hand – I’m thankful he was there. We were at the Venice airport in an unused section, just across the street from the beach. Unfortunately we couldn’t enjoy the view; so close yet so far. 

We arrived around 3 or so Friday, got set up and began prepping meats. It took about 90 minutes before we would get power but it did finally come. Woody covered the cook’s meeting for me, then we went to the cook’s supper where we were joined by my cousin George who lives in Venice. 

I tried something new to jump start my chicken and it did not work at all; I felt fortunate to get 11th. I was obviously very happy with the other calls and it felt good to get back up to the stage for a call. 

My Stump’s Smokers performed perfectly and as always helped me put out a great product. Also thanks to David at Butcher’s BBQ for the great injections and rubs! 

1st Place Ribs!

 Posted by at 10:26 am
Apr 052010

So for 2009, I finished in the top 10 over 85% of the time. I finished in the top 5 68% of the time. I came in Grand or Reserve Champion in over 44% of the contests I entered.  Those are numbers I’m pretty proud of, and they are what kept the Swamp Boys ranked as the #1 team in the country on the National BBQ Rankings for 67 weeks, including all of 2009. We’re talking out of over 4, 400 pro teams.

Jump forward to 2010. Here is a list of the contests I entered and where I finished overall:
Okeechobee 3rd/44
Lakeland 18th/73
Winter Haven 4th/46
Starke 5th/38
Haines City 12th/37
Clermont 14th/30
Dade City 10th/25

Granted, 3 of those above are good finishes. And  historically the start of the season is my weakest stretch.  But still, those others have me worried. In Haines City I did not get a call! It has been years since that has happened. Something is changing, now to figure out how to deal with it.

 Posted by at 11:48 pm
Apr 022010

Ankle plate and 6 screws

Stapled Shut

I twisted my ankle Saturday evening of the Clermont contest. Upon the insistance of my wife, I went to the Urgent Care place to have it looked at on Sunday. Doc said it looked sprained, gave me a prescription for some pain pills and anti-inflamatory pills, and said to come back in a week if it wasn’t better. At the end of the week it was feeling a little better – I had even cooked the Dade City contest. Of course all of that walking made it a little ‘angry’ looking, so on Sunday we went back to the UC place. This time a different doc saw me, X-rayed it, said it was broken and had begun to grow back together incorrectly. I’d have to have surgery to have it re-broken and put together the right way. NOT what I wanted to hear.

So during my spring break I had the surgery. Dr. Morin put in a plate and six screws to hold everything together, kind of like my neck that Dr. Medary took care of 3 years ago:

Neck plate and 6 screws

So I was laid up all spring break with my foot elevated and had to cancel a contest in GA. Dr. Morin says no weight on it at all for 6 weeks, which means crutches. Not fun.

Update 5/17/10: A special thanks goes out to Dr. Morin, and his great nurses Donna and Melinda for the awesome care they gave me. I’m able to walk on both feet now and am getting better every day. Now if I could just get Dr. Morin to accept barbecue in exchange for my deductible… 😉

 Posted by at 12:06 pm