O.K., today’s the day. Barbecue day. Linda and Rox are already on the road and I’m packing everything up. If you’ve never cooked in a competition barbecue contest, you have no idea what it takes to get ready. Here’s just part of my list. You have to make sure you have everything you can possibly cram in your car because you’re going to be cooking in a parking lot or an open field where you can’t just reach in the cupboard for that spice rub you forgot. Oh, the litter and cat food isn’t for the contest. I had to make sure the cats were taken care of, too. The wine is – it’s already in the trunk. First things first.
So here’s just a little of what I’m taking to Gallatin. All my secrets are here but since we don’t win very much I guess it really doesn’t matter, does it? If any barbecue cook wants to steal from me he’s already in a sorry mess. I have my orange wood pellets for the chicken. I have my mesquite for the brisket.You know, it’s actually a big deal that I have this wood out already. I can’t tell you how many times the Chicks get all our meat on the smoker, sit back to enjoy a tall one and then realize we’ve forgotten to put the wood on!
I have my really grungy gloves that have a ripped lining but I love them. I have my rubs and I have the single thing that will separate us from every other team this weekend – pink latex gloves! I was at the dentist the other day and noticed that the hygienist had on these pink gloves and talked her out of a box.
Every barbecue contest is like a mini-city. Everyone brings tents and chairs and decorations. People you may not have met before become your instant neighbors. Most of us like each other. If you need help, it’s only a few feet away. The Chicks don’t like to ask for help because we’re proud, you know. What’s that song? Too Proud To Beg? That’s us. So I’m gong to be signing off here for a couple days.
The great thing about cooking contests is that when you start out you have these great expectations. You can almost hear your name getting called to the stage. Before you light the cooker, the brisket is perfect, the pork succulent, the ribs in that perfect zone of pull away from the bone, not fall off of it. That’s where I am right now. In that good mojo place.