June 19-20, 2009
This would be my second time competing at the Franklin Simpson Fair BBQ but DoRagQ's first. Last year good friend Dan Watson (Long Dawgs Blue Smoke) & I decided to throw in together & have some fun. This year Dan & I decided to divide & conquer. The contest location is in a park which is equipped with water & electrical connections for each site. The sites are all on level ground in a nicely maintained grassy area surrounded by tall shade trees. A great location. Defiantly one of our favs. Richard was on his annual fishing trip with one of his friends & would not be making the trip. Gary"Nickelback" was planning on making the trip until his knee gave out on him & his Mom had surgery earlier in the week! Looks like ole DoRag may have to go solo on this one! To top it off I had to work on Friday to boot! No step for a stepper!
On Thursday after work Gary & I took Casa DoRag to the contest site & set up. We figured to do as much as we could to make things easier on me on Friday. After setting a few things up Thursday night, we joined Voncil & Joe of Smokey Mountain Smokers, Mike & Barry of Swiggin Pig, & Jim & Johnny of Son Seeker's & headed to the Franklin Square to have some Wangs & Burgers @ "Burgers on the Square". What a great place. They even had a band! OK it was a Dude with a guitar but he was really good. I highly recommend checking it our. The Wangs were great & the beer was cold, what more could you want? After some food & fun, Gary & I headed back to Nashville for the night.
Friday was a wild & crazy day. I went in extra early & with all the extra time I had put in during the week I was hoping to slip out early afternoon. Once on site, I finished unloading & started prepping. Gary called to say his knee was a little better & his Mom was recovering so he was hoping to catch up with me later Friday evening. I finally got finished prepping & got our cook site organized. Finally some time for socializing! Long Dawgs & Big & Twig were our neighbors to each side while Team Allegro was across the driveway. Smokey Mountain Smokers, Lotta Bull, & Swiggin Pig were just down the way a bit & Old Dave of Ribs & Bibs was hangin out amongst us all! It was good to see Old Dave again. His sidekick Ziggy did not make the trip. Too bad we had some "Blue Yummies" iced down for him. Maybe next time!
Gary limped in & DoRagQ was officially "In Da House"! After a beer or two "G" settled in to make boxes. I threw on some pork chops & sausage for supper. Swiggin Pig fixed some taters & Long Dawgs threw together a salad & just like that dinner was ready! Good friend & sometime sponsor Mark Walker showed up with Chip & Chuck just in time to grab some grub. Work buddies, Kari & Denise paid us a visit along with Chris, Denise's hubby. They live in the area & had been wanting to check out all the fun we have. Hey the more the merrier right! Scott & Suzanne of South Pork also joined us. Dan made Margaritas & Voncil of Smokey Mountain Smokers made 'Nanna Puddin' for desert.... and Life Was Good! Friday nights at a contest with friends, good food, music, & some adult beverages is hard to top! After some socializing & a sip or two of "Apple Pie" it was time for them to leave! After all I gotta cook & Gary is on crutches!
Saturday morning was quite & peaceful. A nice change from the rain & wind of recent contests. Gary's knee (& other things) were hurtin so I had no choice but to step up & gut it out solo. Most everything went according to plan. I wish I had a $1 for every step I took. I have a new respect for Byron (Buttrubb.com) & Pete (Bean Bandits) who cook solo. You really have to be organized & keep focused. Somehow I was able to do that and got everything boxed & turned in on time! Gary did lend a hand as he got to feelin better. I was happy with chicken & brisket but our ribs were tough & I never know about our pork! So it was time to pack it up & see if were were hero's or zero's!
Thanks to Gary & Roxy of Governor's BBQ we had 25 teams. Category winners were South Pork in chicken, Swiggin Pig in ribs, The Pit Crew in pork, & Smokey Mountain Smokers in brisket. The DoRagQ Gang (less the Gang) managed a 3rd in chicken, 17th in ribs, 13th in pork, & 5th in brisket, finishing 8th overall! South Pork took the GC & The Pit Crew took RGC! Congrats! Other notables were Smokey Mountain Smokers 4th, Swiggin Pig 7th, Long Dawgs 9th, & Lotta Bull 10th.
Overall I am very happy with the outcome. I made a few tweaks to chicken resulting in our best score to date. Brisket is still solid. The ribs were below our standards that was no surprise. Pork was better, but not where it needs to be. I have gotta make a decision. This year's pork just isn't scoring well. Gotta come up with something new or go back to last years or even 2007's recipe! Looks like I am gonna be cookin lots of pork in the next few weeks!
Thanks to Mark Sexton & his staff. They did a great job & took good care of us. Franklin is one of my favorite cooks & I look forward to returning next year. It was also good seeing our BBQ family. Some we see often & other's like ZZ-Que, Hoosier Crawdaddy, Monty Pigthon & The Holy Grill, Ribs & Bibs, Son Seekers, Rockin Rooster's BBQ, Shadetree Cooks, & Castaway Cookers we don't see as much but it's always a blast catching up with them & hope we see them again soon. As for the DoRagQ Gang, it's off to Lawrencburg, TN for the Tennessee State Championship BBQ Cook-Off June 26-27. Richard will be back but "G" is gone on vacation. I guess Richard & I will have to make our own boxes again! Stop by if you are in the area, we love company & if you can make a box, your hired!