I’m in a Meat Coma!

I want to start by congratulating my friends, Steve and Christin, of Sasquatch BBQ. The competition I went to on Saturday was only their 8th – and their second-best overall score. Plus, they did receive an honorable mention (with a lovely rosette ribbon) for their ribs!

I wanted to take photos, but they were just finishing up their last entry – the beef brisket – and I didn’t want to be in the way. However, the picture I really wished I’d gotten was each of their faces when I showed up! They were truly surprised by my arrival – and couldn’t believe Christin’s parents and brother all knew I was going to be there and didn’t give it away! And the gratitude! Christin thanked me for showing up multiple times!

Once all of the entries had been delivered – except for Chef’s Choice, for which they offered a homemade cheesecake – they got to relax a little bit. The parents and brother arrived shortly after the last entry was delivered, and we all sat around in our camping chairs and chatted. Christin got to see the “me” when I’m not worried about being in my professional mode, and I loved it when she told me I was a “wild girl” and we should hang out more!

Her brother, David, is an official Content Creator – and posts at least 2 videos on You Tube every week. One of them is a ‘weekend vlog’ and he was using his camera throughout the day. Check out David DiFranco on You Tube if you want to see more about the competition – the video will go live sometime on Friday, August 30th.

I also learned a lot about these competitions by watching and asking questions. Let me tell you, these competitions are legit! For example, each category for which you are submitting an entry has a time frame in which the entry has to be submitted. Even if you are standing in line to submit your entry when the time is over, you are disqualified for that entry! That creates a lot of stress if your entry just needs another 2 minutes to be perfectly cooked and you’re under a minute to get it to the judges table! Steve ran his beef brisket there with 15 seconds – 15 seconds! – to spare but it wasn’t cooked the way he wanted it! In order to compete in the whole pork entry, you have to cook an entire loin but only a specific part of it is eligible for the competition!

This is not a ‘job’ – it’s not something you can do that will pay the bills, so you have to have passion to put yourself through that kind of stress! It’s also not a cheap adventure – there is a pretty hefty entrance fee (this event was $250) plus the purchase of your meats, all of the spices, sauces, rubs, etc. and your equipment, for which you need some kind of trailer. And since you are a competitor, and not a vendor at an event, you can’t sell off the leftovers to the crowd attending!

Fortunately, since I’m considered extended family, I was the recipient of two full bags of assorted leftovers. This was after all of it was put out on a table and from which we nibbled! Well, that was enough to put me in a meat coma, and I’ve been told that fresh barbeque loses something when it’s frozen, I suspect I’m going to be in repetitive meat comas for the next several days! And I’m okay with that!

Pork, barbequed chicken and beef brisket – and this is only part of the leftovers they had!

We found out that the next competition they are going to attend is somewhere in the Harrisburg area. Well, I grew up on the Harrisburg suburbs, so I’m planning on going again. I would have told you before yesterday that my primary reasons for attending was for support and the samplings. Now that I get to go again, it’s more about the support and comradery! I got some much needed time with Wawa Mama and J Puff (the parents) on Friday evening as well. These are dear, dear friends of mine and I don’t get to see them often! (There is a whole ‘nother story about how they decided to move to the area I was working in around the same time I decided to leave the area!)

Anyhow, I’m looking forward to the next event in Harrisburg! I always take snacks when I go to stuff like this, and my snack for this event was well received…even the dog, Bailey, was gobbling them up! I’m going to have to step it up for the next one!

Steve, Christin, Dave, Debbie and David – thank you for an amazing weekend. I didn’t realize how much I missed you all until I was sitting there just soaking the friendship up! And to Bailey – thanks for letting he hold your leash and pet you, and for not drooling all over me!

Bailey girl on her birthday

(And a special thank you to Christin, who introduced me to a new word… Wenis! Folks, google it and learn something new!)

Goin’ to a Bar-Be-Que!

I have the opportunity to watch a bar-be-que competition this weekend, in which my friends, Steve and Christin (DiFranco) Caputo, representing Sasquatch BBQ, will be taking part. My mouth has always watered when looking at the various photos of their offerings to the judges, via Facebook, and I’m excited to sample these wares!

When the word barbeque is said, the first thing that comes to my mind is ribs, followed by chicken. A little research online led me in various directions on the history of barbeque, and from watching plenty of food and travel shows on TV, the mere definition of the word “barbeque” varies, largely by region. Some are all about the dry rub and some are about wet sauces slathered over the meat while it cooks. Some of the sauces are very different as well – sweet, smoky, even spicy.

Smoked meats – cooked low and slow for hours – are also considered to be barbeque, though I don’t know that I agree with that. I love smoked turkey, but it’s called smoked turkey, not turkey barbeque. Smoked beef brisket isn’t called barbequed beef brisket. Nonetheless, they all have their place in these competitions.

My friends will be turning in sausage, chicken, pork ribs, pork and brisket throughout the competition. (My mouth just watered again!). I will be there to sample each and every delight from what is left after the judges’ entrees are made. I’m most looking forward to the pork ribs, as it’s one of my favorite when it’s fall-off-the-bone delicious.

It will be nice to surprise Christin and Steve (they don’t know I’m planning on being there) and hang out with my friends, the DiFrancos to visit a little. I wanted to visit with them when I went to Strasburg two weeks ago, but the sinus issue made that impossible.

My natural inquisitiveness has me thinking about all of the questions I want to ask. From their passion for these competitions to which spices, rubs and sauces they use as well, to how to select a good cut of meat and how to trim a cut of meat. However, I don’t want to distract them from their objective. They have yet to win a competition, but they’ve placed well. Maybe I’ll bring them a little luck?

Sasquatch BBQ barbequed chicken offering
Sasquatch BBQ brisket offering

If not, I know my taste buds are in for a treat! It will be nice to see the platters of samplings in real life instead of just looking at photos! I also want to tour their new barbeque truck in real life instead of through video!

And the weather is supposed to be very accommodating!

Do I sound excited????