Monday, September 14, 2009

Pig'n in the Grove!

September 4-5, 2009
College Grove, TN
About 90 minutes South of Nashville is the sleeply little community of College Grove. It is so small they don't even have a WallyWorld! But that's what makes College Grove appealing, it truly is a small town. Everybody seems to know everybody & most are related! Rolling hills of green vegetation surround you as you navigate the winding roads of Williamson County. When word got out about a KCBS sanctioned contest, the DoRagQ Gang made plans to be there. We made plans to drop Casa DoRag at the site on Thursday so Richard & Gary could get things going on Friday morning since I had to be at the J O B most of the day on Friday. Since it was close to Nashville I could get off work @ be there within an hour. Several Teams were planning on arriving on Thursday & head over to Lynchburg for the Jack drawing. Very cool! Good luck to those who have a chance in the drawing.

As Friday arrived, Richard arrived at Casa DoRag early & Gary was not far behind him. They got through meat inspection & settled in to prepping. I arrived late afternoon & got caught up on the day's activities over a few cold ones. I was amazed at the number & quality of entries. The last I heard there was 18-20 teams. Seems Donna & Joe did a great job promoting & ended up with 29 teams! Many of the regulars were in attendance such as High on the Hawg, Big River, Butts Bellies, & Buddies, Smokey Mountain Smokers, Long Dawgs, Get'n Piggy With It, Team Allegro, Delta Smoke, Music City Pig Pals, Big & Twig, Light My Fire, & The Pit Crew to name a few. I also noticed a few unfamiliar teams like Pyro Chef's & 9 Toes BBQ (cool name)! It was good to see our BBQ Family & meet some new peeps too! Friday after the cook's meeting were were treated to hamburgers, hot dogs, beans, & slaw which meant we did not have to cook our supper! Cool! We commenced to socializin & recreational drinkin! During the week I had made up a fresh batch of Apple Pie & everyone wanted to give it a try. Pretty good stuff but will be better with age! The evening we quiet by DoRag standards. We chatted with Jimmy Tolen of Butts, Bellies, & Buddies, & Jeff of Big & Twig & turned in way before the clock struck midnight.

After a good 4 hours of sleep, Richard & I were up getting chicken & ribs ready to put on the FE100. As the sun came up it looked like we were in for a glorious day of BBQ! We began to notice some very cool cars & truck starting to arrive for the car show. Vetts, Chevelles, Mustangs, & Mopars lined the perimeter of the park. There were some beautiful rides & the owners were every bit as passionate about their cars as we are about BBQ. Ok back the the "Q". Most everything went as planned although our brisket was stubborn & did not want to get up to temperature. We also decided to try a slightly different technique on our pulled pork. A word of advice, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT TRY SOMETHING NEW AT A CONTEST FOR THE FIRST TIME! That should give you a preview of our pork results! As we were putting on the finishing touches on our boxes we were treated to a summer shower by Mother Nature! You should have seen those Hot Rod Guys scramble! They sure cleared our fast!

After turn-in Gary, Richard, & I sat back with a cold one (or two) & discussed our product. We thought our chicken was as good or better than any we have cooked. Our ribs were almost as good as our 1st place ribs in Paris. Pork....well it was pork. But our brisket was amazing! WOW was what we all said as we tasted it. Even a competitor that sampled it said "it would make you pee in your pants"! I think that means it was good! Call or no call we put forth one of our best efforts to date. It's too bad the judges didn't see it the same way. After the "Fat Lady" was done singing we finished 13th in chicken, 18th in ribs, 24th in pork, & 11th in brisket with a 17th overall finish. I got to be honest, I was disappointed to say the least. I really thought we had some worthy food. For a split second I thought "Hell, I could be riding my Harley every weekend instead of working my ass off to cook for a bunch of SOBs that wouldn't know good BBQ if it was shoved down their throat"! But then the BBQ Gods spoke to me & reminded me why I do this.........because I love to freakin BBQ! Win, loose, or draw we put forth a great effort & I hope we can duplicate it (except for pork) next week in Cookeville.

Congratulations to the Allgood BBQ Pit Crew for taking 1st in chicken, Big & Twig for their 1st in ribs, Smokey Mountain Smokers for their 1st in pork, & Beckey Sue's BBQ for taking top prize in brisket. The overall GC went to Joe & Voncille of Smokey Mountain Smokers with the Allgood BBQ Pit Crew taking the RGC! Congrats! Other notables were Buck & Lou of High on the Hawg taking 3rd overall, Dan & Jen of Long Dawgs placing 4th, & Big & Twig finishing in 6th overall.

For a first year contest, I must say they were well organized, had good power & water, & had community support. A Great effort! Thanks Donna & Joe for making Pig'n in the Grove a huge success! We will defiantly be back next year. As for the DoRagQ Gang.....we are headin for Cookeville next week. Maybe we can figure out what we did right & do it again. Hopefully there might be some SOBs there who know good BBQ! Only kiddin :) We love judges! Really we do!

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