Friday, October 30, 2009

Goats, Music, & More! Who's Your Naaaanny!

October 9-10, 2009
The Goats, Music, More BBQ Contest has always been a favorite of the DoRagQ Gang since 2007. Richard had much to do with starting & organizing this contest in 2007 & 2008. In 2009 he decided to "retire" from contest organizing & concentrate on competing having a good time. The contest is part of the Goats, Music, & More Festival which celebrates the popularity of "Goats" in the area. They are also known for their outstanding entertainment "Music" the BBQ is part of the "More"! It is your typical "Fall Festival" with food vendors, arts, crafts, & entertainment for the whole family. And the best part is FREE ADMISSION! Nice to see there is still some family entertainment that does not cost an arm a leg. Lewisburg is also Richard's hometown, so we took Casa DoRag down Wednesday & got set up. I was having  a busy week & was not sure what time I would be able to get away on Friday. Lewisburg is about an hours drive from Nashville so I would head down when done for the day. Lewisburg would make the eighth week out of nine that we have been on the contest circuit.  Lewisburg is normally the last contest of the year for DoRagQ. The forecast leading up to the contest was the same as we have seen for the past several weeks...RAIN! Now that we have Casa DoRag the rain does not seem to bother us as much as it once did but it would sure be nice to have clear skies dry ground. Never the less we were looking foreword to cookin some "Q"! We were also looking forward to adding some additional "DoRag Members" for this weekend. CBJ Nancy Strong had asked to cook with the DoRagQ Gang to fulfill her KCBS Master Judge Certification & KCBS Contest Rep "Extraordinaire" Ron "Go Bama" Harwell had some how talked me into letting him cook with us as well! Ron has become a great friend & since he is usually fulfilling his duties as a KCBS Rep we were looking forward to hanging out with him "off duty".

Richard & Gary got things going on Friday & by the time I arrived everything was inspected, prepped, injected, marinated, rubbed, wrapped, & on ice! Nice! That gave me some "socializin time" to see our BBQ Friends such as Mr. Pete of Bean Bandits, The Swifts of Wild Bunch Butt Burners, David of Gettin' Piggy With It, Linda & JC of JC's Pit Crew, Dan & Jen of Long Dawgs, & Brenda & Terry of High on the Hawg to name a few. Before long it was time for the Cook's Meeting. In lew of "Goodie Bags" the Rotary Club was cookin a catfish supper & providing Saturday morning breakfast for all the teams! Nice touch! So after the Cook's meeting concluded we did more socializin waiting on the catfish. Richard was asked to lend his expertise frying the fish. After a short wait we were treated to fried catfish, hush puppies, & hot slaw. What a feast! After dinner it was time to start the "Big Meats" smokin while Gary started makin the boxes. Even with the weather everything was going according to plan! Cool, more time for more socializin! It was a pleasure to sit down with Nancy & get to know her better. I also had a great time "bossin" Ron around. Hey there are no "free rides" with the DoRag Gang. You gotta pull your weight! All kiddin aside, Ron was eager to help we all enjoyed his company as well.

As the night went on, things were "low key" compared to previous years. The entertainment was country music group Shenandoah. They moved in from the main stage to a small covered pavilion that was packed! The weather did not stop the locals from coming out & taking advantage of the "free" entertainment. We all just hung out around the fire pit & took chugs of Apple Pie. Terry & Mary Jo of Shadetree Cooks came over & Victor of GPWI (Gettin Piggy With It) made it down from ATL with his friends. A good time was had by all.  Several had a better time than the rest of us (you know who you are). Before long it was "Quiet Time" & we all turned in for the night.

Saturday morning arrived as did our breakfast. We were also treated to a rousing rendition of the Star Spangled Banner courtesy of Rodney & John of House of Q. Very inspiring! So after we wiped the sleep from our eyes, it was time to get serious about this BBQ thang. Nancy & Ron did a great job helping out where they could. I was looking forward to their opinions on our product. Ron did a impromptu interview with the DoRagQ Gang for an article for the American Bass Anglers in between us butting on the ribs & chicken. By mid morning everything was in full swing. The big meats were up to temperature & the ribs & chicken were coming along fine. As we prepped our boxes for turn in, Nancy commented how she was amazed at the amount of effort we put in to producing a quality product. As I explained, this is true with most teams competing. You have to pay attention to the details. The smallest thing can be the difference in getting a call or not. We have been fortunate to get some great advice from many of those teams & we strive to pay attention to the details & remain as consistent as possible. Sometimes it works & sometimes it don't. I hope Nancy tells her fellow Judges about her experiences.

We managed to get everything boxed & turned in on time. As we usually do, we sat down & discussed our product but this time we had Nancy & Ron's input as well. Both Nancy & Ron commented the chicken was a bit salty, we agreed. They liked the ribs, we thought they we good but not great. They really liked the pork, we did too. Nancy said our brisket was possible the best she has ever had! WOW what a complement. We thought it was good, but not as good as some we have cooked. So after cleaning up & packing Casa DoRag all that was left was to hear the results. So we made our way over to the main stage. Wild Bunch Butt Burners kicked it off by taking the win in chicken, with High on the Hawg coming in 2nd. Seems Nancy & Ron were right as we brought up the rear in 20th place in chicken. In ribs, Jiggy Piggy took the win, with Long Dawgs/Harvest Moon placing 2nd (way to go Jan & Dan)! House of Q, Jc's Pit Crew, & High on the Hawg rounded out the top five. DoRag managed a 9th place. I was really hoping for a good finish in pork as we have been struggling a bit. They called High on the Hawg in 5th, Wild Bunch Butt Burners in 4th, Long Dawgs/Harvest Moon in 3rd, & DoRagQ in 2nd! Holy Shit! That's cool! Congrats to "Legendary" Tony Stone of S & S for taking the win in pork by 2/1000th of a point! In brisket Governor's BBQ took the win, with House of Q, 9 Toes, Butts a Blazin', & Long Dawgs/Harvest Moon, rounding out the top five. The DoRagQ Gang managed to pull off a 10th place finish in brisket. The overall win went to House of Q! Those guys can cook! With Gary & Roxy of Governor's BBQ taking RGC! Rounding out the top ten were Wild Bunch Butt Burners, Long Dawgs/Harvest Moon, Big River BBQ, Jiggy Piggy, S & S, High on the Hawg, General Porktitioners, & DoRagQ! Oh & Jiggy Piggy took the win in Goat over last year's champion Long Dawgs/Harvest Moon! Congratulations to all!

Ok, a top ten overall finish, no complaints here!  We seem to be on the right track with pork. I know what I did to make the chicken too salty.  Ribs & brisket are consistant,  Overall a good effort!  I'm happy!  What I will remember most about this contest is the fun we had getting to know Nancy & Ron.  I want to thank them both for giving us the honor to cook & spend time with them.  They are both very special & have an "open inviatation" to cook with DoRagQ anytime!  Next year I will have the dis-honor of wearing a Alabama DoRag because of a friendly wager that Mr. Harwell & I had.  12-10 ain't bad boys....we'll get 'em next year!  We have a week off & then its off the Lunchburg for "The Jack".  The DoRagQ Gang has been asked by Bobbie & Lee McWright of Music City Pig Pals to assist them!  Very cool!  We will be rootin for them as well as all of our BBQ Friends & Family.  Until then, keep the fat side down & the coals hot!  See ya!

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