So Spring has sprung and love is in the air. When I say 'love' I mean pollen which is kind of like love on an arboreal level anyway. The South is shaking off one of the coldest winters in a while, the temps are rising, plants are budding out, bees are buzzing, birds are chirping, Riley is licking himself more that usual, and the BBQ competition circuit is once again heating up. Team Grandpa's Pride will compete at the Marianna Arts Festival and BBQ Competition as well as the Tri-State BBQ Festival which are in April. Just like the Cleveland Indians, we are hoping for a season better than last year's. I've made good use of the off season by working on rubs, technique, and presentation, so when I got an e-mail about a local BBQ cooking school, I was quite pleased. Now, for those that know me, know I have the strength of 10 3rd graders and a mental capacity on the same scale, and the thought of going back to school sounds like as much fun as when I had my 'male, birth-control, optional, outpatient' surgery done by a doctor with the shakes a few years back.......only not as much fun. No man ever wants to hear another man say to him, "Go ahead and take off your clothes, I'll be right back." At least, I don't, but that's just me. However, when I got this e-mail about a BBQ Cook School, well let's just say I'm was as happy as that weird kid from the 4th grade with a brand new bottle of glue just waiting to be smeared on his hands and peeling it off as it dries. You know the kid: Sat in the back, smelled kind of like mustard and old cheese, two left shoes, while once in a while to be heard saying, "Sticky..." Yeah that kid. Excited. I have often contemplated taking a BBQ Cooking School just to increase my skill set and abilities....that and so a friend of mine will quit saying my BBQ sucks. She says she is kidding, but... Anyway, I have talked to Sherri about taking a course to enhance my skills. As always, she was very supportive and asked with a somewhat anticipatory grin if the course could last up to six weeks and was maybe in Upper Saskatchewan. For some reason when I told her they were only a weekend and local, she became all sad and down all the while muttering, "Lord give me strength." Go figure. There are many schools from which to choose. Myron Mixon has a school at his home in Unadilla, GA which will set you back about $750.00. I hear it is outstanding though. Rob 'Rub' Bagby of Swamp Boyz fame also does a cooking school. I'm not sure the cost but as much as he wins, I'm sure it is worth every cent. Nice guy too. Now, one of the nicest guys on the circuit, Forrest Dilmore, is offering a BBQ Cooking School. For a weekend, you get a meet and greet as well as a whole lot of education on FBA and KCBS BBQ cooking, meat selection, and presentation for $400.00. Not bad, not too bad at all especially when you consider the fact he has done quite well on the BBQ circuit. When we were in Perry at the BBQ contest, he let me in on his plans, and I have been like a kid waiting for word that the elf strike was over and Santa really would come this year. Thanks mom and dad. I'm sure when he said that I let out a little squeal of delight because his name gets called a lot. My brother used the word 'squeal', and it wasn't so much a 'squeal' as it was a manly expression of excitement in a higher octave. I don't think he is Catholic so there should be no shoes or erasers flying at me for not paying attention thank you very much my sixth grade teacher Mr. Meahan. I am interested in the school as I hope many others will be. I can't help but wonder if the Sweat Hogs from Welcome Back Kotter were to take the class, which one would I be? Vinnie Babarino was always cool. Me? Yeah, not so much. In fact, I think I am the anti-cool. Washington? Too tall. Epstein. I don't have the hair for it. I guess that leaves Horseshack or the old, grumpy principal. I guess I'll go with horseshack. He seemed rather 'simple' except for the constant if not epileptic fits of, "Ooo, Oooooo, Ooooo, Ooooooooo!!!" I can see me doing that. Heck, I think I have done that. Don't ask me where the Sweat Hog reference came from. I didn't even really like that show that much, but my sister did. If she liked it, I watched it just to spend time with her. It just seemed to fit and has been on my mind most of the night. I wonder if Forrest will get a bus? The BBQ School Bus. Probably not. But that would be AWESOME!!!!! At least in Jeff-land. It's a very special place. So, if yall will excuse me, I have to make sure I have a fresh bottle of Elmer's laying around. Y'all take care, and Riley says, "Hello and please save me." Here is the information on the class: Forrest Fine Foods, LLC Competition BBQ Class March 29-30, 2014 in Cottondale, FL. The class will be held near Cottondale FL and will begin with a meet and greet supper on Friday night. The class will be presented in contest format, with the exception of a Friday/Saturday structure it will be done Saturday/Sunday. FBA and KCBS will be discussed. This is a full disclosure class that includes everything from meat selection to box building for turn-in. Dinner and supper will be provided on Saturday and breakfast and dinner on Sunday, as well as snacks. The cost of the class is $400 per person. Class size is limited so reserve you spot quick. Contact Forrest Dilmore at 850-209-7777 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org for an application.