Jun 2, 2015

Kansas City Barbeque Society - I'm Certified! Or certifiable. Whatever.

Over Memorial Day weekend I had the opportunity to participate in the Kansas City Barbeque Judging class.  Ok, I'll be honest, I'd been waiting for this class to come to Oregon for over a year and I'd spent months counting down until it was finally time to hit the road in my travel trailer and head to North Bend, OR to attend the 4th annual BBQ, Blues & Brews at the Mill Casino

I begged for a day off from my new job and was graciously awarded for my groveling.  I hit the road early on Friday for North Bend...a boring 4 hour drive from my house.  I spent the weekend with a few friends, hanging out, anxiously awaiting the test at the end of the Kansas City BBQ judging class, eating bbq, losing money at the casino, eating more bbq, then judging BBQ, and wait for it, judging the mac and cheese competition.  Good times!

I'd love to show you photos of the some of the bbq, but I got so wrapped up in the moment I didn't even snap one photo of a piece of brisket.  I did learn a few things about BBQ, however.  Which was the point.  And, I learned something about sportsmanship as well.  Ok, ok, I already knew that part, but lets say I didn't know that some BBQ-ers were complete arseholes.   I should have guessed, but the silly little girl in me thought, "It's BBQ!  What could go wrong!"  

Our group of three new BBQ judges decided to watch the awards ceremony.....and we're sitting there, minding our own business (well, almost) when the investigator in me catches bits and pieces of the conversation going on directly (DIRECTLY) behind us.  Their conversation goes something like this:

"Since there were 20 new BBQ judges in this competition you have to DUMB DOWN the BBQ so they'll like it."

"Leave all the spices off and slap some sweet stuff like Sweet Baby Ray's on the meat and the judges will love it."

"Its almost an insult to win here because of the new judges."  

It should be noted at this point that the group in question may have won ONE prize.  Out of 38 teams and 4 opportunities for each team to win, that's a lot of "not winning" (see my positive spin?).

Talking was a chick who apparently has some affiliation to a bbq caterer in Portland, OR since she went right back to their tent and continued her jibjab.  I won't toss them under the bus because I'm sure it was a misunderstanding (not, cough cough).  

However, despite the cranky wench who ruined my first bbq judging competition, I had a great time. And, I got to spend time with some friends I don't see often enough.  But, more importantly, I can now write about bbq far and wide and when someone questions me, I can show them my BBQ judging badge and smile pretty as I say, "I'd prefer Sweet Baby Rays."  

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