Still Going Strong

The 2012 BBQ season brought us into Brockport with our heads held high, and ready for a weekend of fun in the sun at Northampton Park. With plenty of room and grass we camped out with several Western New York teams and had a great time, as we moved through the competitions.

The NEBS competition featured the standard 4 categories with additional categories for Ribs and Chili. A 2nd place showing in the Rib-Off had us feeling pretty confident about ribs for Sunday, and showing 4th Overall in the NEBS categories left us feeling pretty good.

On Sunday, things went very smooth, and seemed to go smooth for just about everybody there. Whether it was the beautiful weather, or the friendly atmosphere, it seemed that everyone was in high spirits. With calls in all 4 categories, including a 2nd in Brisket, we landed Reserve Grand Champion in a shocking haul, beating out some of the closest scores we've seen. This propelled us up the standing for the Empire State Series and carried on our run of top 10 finishes.

We set out after Brockport to our furthest competition to-date, heading to Troy, NY. With all the stories about the "Pig-Out", we knew this was an opportunity and an experience we couldn't miss. So with a skeleton crew and limited equipment, we set off across the state.

Saturday's People's Choice competition was a real eye opener. The sheer number of people looking to devour whatever food was available was enough to make even some of the seasoned teams take a step back. There is no question that people in Upstate New York love their Barbeque! The Meatheads managed to server over 30 racks of ribs, and despite not placing in the competition, we were happy to be in the center of such a great atmosphere. There's something special about watching people pick up a sample of your ribs, taste it, and then hand you their remaining tickets, asking for 10 or more. Validation comes more from a wide-eyed smiling patron than a competition score.

That doesn't mean we don't take competitions seriously, though. The KCBS event went about the same as most events do: You start cooking, and then sit around and wait. We hit a few snags with our Brisket but made the best of it, and with calls in Pork and Chicken, we manged to finish a respectable 8th while mainly New England teams took top honors. We were happy with our results, and knowing that we can do better just keeps our enthusiasm going.

Despite no upcoming competitions, we'll be busy with several cookouts in the upcoming month including cooking for our Beer Blast winner Linda Paris as well as various fundraisers and our annual family reunion. We're hoping to keep on top of everything for our final New York competition right at home in Clarence, and develop a strategy for just how we're going to make it to The American Royal in October.

It really is a good feeling to travel and be recognized by people. Having judges, competitors and even neighbors and friends of friends of friends hear our name and say "Hey you guys are having a great year. Keep it up!", we stay motivated to continue to deliver what we always strive for: Good Food and Great Fun. Thanks to all of our supporters!