Monday, May 30, 2011

OK, Let The Season Begin

My season, anyway.

This past week I finally addressed a major problem of my BBQ team, my tow vehicle. I have been using a Ford Explorer to tow our BBQ camper for the last four years, and it was never powerful enough. Honestly, I am amazed that the truck didn't die on me, and that I was able to get a decent trade amount on it. This allowed us to buy a new to us Ford Expedition with a bigger engine and factory tow package. It is rated to tow a trailer twice the weight of my fully packed camper, so I should be fine for a while.

The USS Lorson....

While we cooked the Snowshoe, I was unable to cook Lexington and couldn't get the time off to go to Rochester, so I really am chomping at the bit to cook. But for the next two weeks, my focus will be on Cape Cod. The planning this year has been easier than last year, when organizing was completely new to me. But it is still a challenge.

Once Cape Cod is over, we start competing. The paid entries so far are New Hampshire, Harpoon and Norwalk CT. Battle of the BBQ Brethren on Long Island in early August is one I really want to cook, but Sheila cannot travel that weekend because of work. That event is appealing to me because the New London Ferry to Long Island makes getting there and back a snap. Only 50 miles of actual driving, and most of it through the scenic wineries of Eastern Long Island. Going to try and make it.

Factor in a couple of vending events, a wedding in August and hopefully at least one more contest, and it's going to be a great summer of BBQ for Q Haven. Icing on the cake would be winning one of these things, it has been so long that I don't even remember what it feels like.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Latest Doings

It has really been a crazy few weeks, barbecue and otherwise. The Rose City BBQ Cook Off was last Saturday, and it ended up being a great day. The weather held out for the most part, and the people in our adopted hometown of Norwich came out and supported the effort. In the end, the event raised more than three thousand dollars for charities that serve the homeless of Norwich.

This was my first time as a vendor at this kind of event. I have vended at Harpoon several times, but most of the other teams vend too so there is little pressure.

I was disappointed with how the vending went, although the response from the public was generally favorable. I was involved in the event planning, and was so busy with work and otherwise that I did not get as much pre event prep done. Also, I agreed to help with meat inspections for the contest teams, and that hour and a half I really should have been focused on my vending.

It just wasn't my best food. But I learned a lot for next time. And I also passed my first true health inspection, and the guy didn't just rubber stamp me, he was temping all my food and my coolers.

Had a catering job yesterday, a 50 person shower in Sprague. Unlike the vending, the food came out great. The people who booked me had our food at Harpoon and remembered us when they decided to do a BBQ themed shower. I still need to work on my amounts but was very happy overall with the job.

Now, I have a few weeks where I can focus on finalizing the details of the Cape Cod BBQ Championship. Then, I can finally turn my attention to the fun part of all this, which is actually cooking BBQ contests!