This Saturday a Memorial BBQ will be held to remember and celebrate the life of Mike Grudzinskas of the I Smell Smoke!!! BBQ team. The event will start at 3PM on June 26th and will be held at the Barre Sportsman Club in Barre, MA. There will be bands and BBQ. Tickets are only $20 and can be purchased at the event. All proceeds will be used to set up a college fund for Mike's two daughters. If you want to help, but can't make the event, you can send donations to the following:
Last weekend was Lakeside Smokers' fifth year at The Rock 'N Ribfest in Merrimack, NH. A lot of negativity surrounds this contest. I'm not blind to some of the flaws at this comp, but there are some good things about it too. For one, the sites are huge; we had a 25' X 35' site. You're allowed to bring motor homes. The power is good, and the water pressure is unbelievable. The entry fee has been $150 since I've been competing there. That includes both grilling and BBQ. The $4500 prize money is spread out over both days. So, if you compete at the grilling and BBQ it's not a terrible payout for the low entry fee. I have never seen so many portable toilets in my life, and they're cleaned on both days of the event. But, I think what keeps teams coming back is the fact that it is an automatic for The Jack. That's reason enough for us.
Friday night was a blast. We hung out, drank beers, and met some new teams. Saturday we decided not to compete in the grilling. It was nice to just sit and relax and watch other teams compete. Saturday afternoon we had visitors from both of our families. But as the night settled in they left and I got on to cooking. The cook was going well and when Sunday morning rolled in everything was on schedule. The turn in boxes were much smaller than they should have been and we were really concerned about that. But in the end we fit our normal presentation in those tiny boxes without having to trim anything down. That was a relief.
Awards were early at 3:15. I like when they are nice and early like that. For me the worst time at a comp is between the last turn in and the awards ceremony. I'm tired and I'm anxious. So the less time I have to wait, the better. We ended up 1st in chicken, 1st in ribs, 7th in brisket, and finished 3rd overall. The scores were very tight in the overall positions. The top 4 overall scores were only separated by 2 points! But, in the end Lo 'N' Slo BBQ took home Grand Champion honors and the auto for The Jack. Congrats guys! Well done.
I don't think any of us realized just how much we missed competing at Peter's Pond until this weekend. It's close, it's (usually) the first New England BBQ event of the year, and it's always a ton of fun! This past weekend was no exception. We arrived Friday late afternoon and were sited by first time organizer, and resurrector of this comp, Ted Lorson. He arranged it so teams could compete right out of an RV site if they wanted to. That worked out awesome. Each RV site was 25' X 50' with dedicated power, water, sewer hook ups, and cable. Teams that did not want an RV spot could set up in the big field. It was very spacious; sites were 30' X 30' with room to move in between them. Friday night we gathered around the fire pit and caught up with some old friends, and made a few new ones.
Saturday around 9:00 AM, just as most teams were showing up, it rained. Well...more like the sky opened up! Lightning, thunder, torrential downpour. But, after a few hours, the rain stopped, and we wouldn't see it again until we got home. During the day Saturday we did our prep, got our site dried off, and started cooking the Anything Butt category. We hosted an impromptu burger bash at our site with a few of our friends. After a few hours we wandered into the field and joined the party already in progress. Lots of drinking, lots of Damn Dip, and lots of laughs. It was a great night.
Sunday morning came and the cook was going good. No rain, no surprises, and the turn ins were uneventful. Immediately after the last turn in we broke down and packed up. Awards were promptly at 3:00 and Ted did a great job up on the stage announcing them. He moved them along quickly and kept it interesting. We had much better results here than we did at our last comp. It was nice to get a little redemption. We took 2nd place in the Anything Butt category, 3 top ten calls for KCBS, and finished in 3rd place over all. Congrats to Ique for GC and Yabba Dabba Que for RGC.
A big thanks goes out to Ted Lorson. This comp was killed last year but Ted brought it back to life. It was his first time organizing but he seemed like a natural at it. He was on site all weekend, completely accessible to everyone. Running power cords in the rain, and picking up trash with his golf cart. Great job Ted. He plans on making it bigger and better for next year. We already can't wait.