Thursday, November 8, 2012

Ready for the Foggy Bottom BBQ Bash

So I'm sitting here worn out and just looked at the countdown on my blog.  14 hours until the Foggy Bottom BBQ Bash.  I say worn out, and by that I mean as worn out as one person can be making brines, injections, rubs, and sauces.  Add to that, going over my checklist for packing.  Some would say I'm a bit O.C.D. while others would say I'm clinically there.  Either way, it works for me.  I really don't know how the guys that are pros do this week in and week out.  To top it all off, many run restaurants and cooking schools on top of that.  I do know this, I am excited about my team's first foray into the professional division.  My opinion on going pro is simple:  The worst we can do is come in last and they can't cook us and eat us 'cause that would be wrong.  I remember our first run at the Foggy Bottom BBQ Bash three years ago, and to say we didn't know what we were doing is a bit of an understatement.  By the second year, we were doing better except for getting ourselves disqualified from ribs due to a really stupid mistake on my part.  Last year, we improved and got Grand Champion in the Backyard Division which ain't bad.  We have participated in the Tri-State BBQ Festival a couple of times as well and have improved each time there as well.  I must say hearing your team name called out is pretty exciting.  For those who don't do the BBQ thing, you may not quite get what all the fuss is about or what is exciting about sitting in the freezing cold or searing heat just to watch a smoker all night and day while spending money that could go for a lot of other things.  First of all, the other people there are just about the nicest people you could ever meet.  That doesn't mean they will tell you how they do what they do, but each and everyone says hello or walks around and chats.  The Frankensmoker Mk. 2.1 has gotten many comments and has been the source of many friendly conversations with other cook teams or visitors.  Mostly, it is a chance to hang out with friends, smell some good smells, eat some really good food, and just slow down a bit.   So with all this said, if you get a chance to find your way to Elba, AL you should come and check out the Foggy Bottom BBQ Bash.  The weather is supposed to be good.  I'm sure there will be good food, and if nothing else, you can come and sit a bit by the firepit with us for a bit.  That is until I have to do something with the 'Q'.  At that point, as they say, "You ain't got to go home, but you got to go from here."  Y'all be safe and Riley says hello.  Oh, by the by.  My wife and I were in what I refer to as God's Country (Tuscaloosa, AL) last weekend, and it just so happens we found our way to Dreamland BBQ for some ribs.  I haven't had Dreamland since I was a student at the University of Alabama back in 1994.  The atmosphere is still the same and the folks as still just as nice.  Funny thing though, the ribs weren't what I remembered them being.  I have been told that this is directly related to the fact I do my own 'Q' now, and all 'Q' will be compared to my own 'Q'.  I'm sure it is some sort of occupational/recreational hazard.  Sort of like a brewer drinking someone else's beer.  Somehow is just isn't the same.  Either way, the experience was a nice trip down memory lane.  Y'all take care.    

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