Hay Capital BBQ Cook Off

This past weekend we attended the 5th Annual Hay Capital BBQ Cook Off in Yates Center, Kansas. We were one of the charter members that were at their first contest and have not missed one since. We enjoy going there, they like the teams and take care of us. Free electric and ice, indoor bathrooms, showers and other amenities add to the fun.
This year they added something new and did a sponsor dinner, where people from the community get fed by a competition team in return for a donation to the contest. We had 8 guests for supper and enjoyed visiting with them. They seemed pleased with the food, and this was reinforced on Saturday when the organizer said they have already requested us for next year!
Adding to the fun of the weekend, we were accompanied by David and Aquila who were doing their cook that will enable them to become certified KCBS Master Judges. They got to experience most of what a competition team goes through; they were there at noon Friday, slept in their car next to us and were back up at 5am to finish the day. They gained a new appreciation of what the cooks put in to those 6 pieces of meat that the judges sample.

And if all that wasn’t enough, Kristi’s Naughty Nurses 2nd Shift came out of retirement to cook as a separate team to help the organizer reach the necessary 25 teams. So to recap, we were cooking for guests Friday night, teaching a couple about competition barbecue, and cooking as separate teams. Whew, busy weekend.

The sponsor dinner was really fairly easy, we cooked  Moinks as an appetizer and the main meal consisted of pork loin, garlic mashed potatoes and corn. For dessert we finished it off with home made cobbler that Aquila made and ice cream. Left over cobbler and ice cream were enjoyed again Saturday by us and some of our neighbors after we were done with turn-ins.

Once that was done we split up with boys vs girls for the competition. But we did remain on friendly terms and even helped each other out when needed, just like we would a new team. Kristi and Aquila got the FEC100 and David and I used WSMs. We both followed our normal recipes for the most part, though we did experiment a little which ended up with some interesting things learned.For example, the ONLY thing different with our chicken entries was the cooker and fuel: pellets vs charcoal. Kristi came in 13th and Greg won the category:

1st place Chicken!

1st place Chicken!

Our ribs ended up on the same table and the judges didn’t like either one of us.
But in the pork category, Kristi came in 6th;

6th place Pork

6th place Pork

And Greg took second;

2nd place Pork

2nd place Pork

Those places were reversed in the brisket category, with Greg taking 5th place;

5th place Brisket

5th place Brisket

And Kristi took second!

2nd place Brisket

2nd place Brisket

In the end, Kristi finished 10th overall out of the 25 teams and Greg, with the help of Kristi, David and Aquila brought home our first ever Grand Champion!!

Grand Champion!

Grand Champion!

We were very excited to say the least. After we came close a few times the last couple years, we get a Reserve Grand Champion followed by Grand Champion the next week! Kristi’s hands were shaking as she filled out the paperwork that will be sent in to reserve our spot in the American Royal Invitational. We have always said we would not go the the Royal until we could do the invitational, now we’ll be there in October 2014! The other thing we should get is a chance to be drawn for the Jack Daniels Invitational. For The Jack, the winner of every qualifying contest gets a chance to get their name drawn. Getting your ‘bung’ pulled is the highlight for many teams. Of course we could just win 6 more contests between now and next July and get and automatic bid!
We didn’t have much time to visit friends, but it was good to see them again none the less. We also met some new friends and hope to see them again on the barbecue trail.

Our next event will be in McPherson where we’ll spend the weekend with our Scottish Highland friends.

Moore OK, May 2013

Sunday morning we rolled into the Operation BBQ Relief site located at the Hillsdale Free Will Baptist Bible College about a mile south of the tornado’s path. This is Kristi and my 3rd deployment with OBR after a tornado so we were familiar with what was going to happen and went right to work.

We unloaded the supplies we had purchased with the donations of our friends, then Kristi was put in charge of the line that filled orders for pre-packaged individual meals and I was put in charge of keeping inventory of food that was ready to be distributed. Our friends Sam and Brian that went along were also put right to work as there is always something that needs to be done. After a busy lunch, we cleaned and got ready to do it all again. Meat had to come off the smoker and be prepared for serving and fresh meat needed to be prepped to go on the smokers.

We finally got to bed a little after midnight and were up again bright and early the next morning for day 2. Ribs needed to be seasoned and put on the smoker for a special Memorial Day meal for victims hosted by the University of Oklahoma. Then we worked on stocking OBR’s new concession trailer as we were the lucky ones who got to take her out for her maiden voyage. We set up the trailer in the drive of Plaza Towers Elementary school and offered a hot, nutritious meal to those cleaning up as well as those who were there to protect. We were assisted by our good friends Terri, Caelyn and Larry who have helped us several times with people’s choice events.  A couple of us walked through the local neighborhoods telling people about OBR and directing them to our trailer for a meal. We serve meals rich in protein and carbohydrates because these people are working hard and need to keep their energy up. It’s also amazing how much a hot meal can raise their spirits!     A mother/daughter team from Indiana stopped by and asked if they could help, by the time we finished for the day they had made a half dozen or so trips out into the neighborhoods with meals to hand out to those in need. We had never met them before, but we won’t forget them.

Set up next to us was a group called Raise Some Hope (www.raisesomehope.org) or Facebook.com/raisesomehope. These folks had t-shirts that you could write your feelings on the back as part of the grieving/healing process. At one point I had gone over to check on them and there was a young boy writing a thank you note to his teacher. It turns out he was one of the children who was shielded by their teacher when she laid over them for protection. When I tried to tell the story to Kristi I couldn’t do it without crying, so of course I had to repeat it several times. Even today typing this I’m getting a little misty eyed.

Another story worth telling; on one of my walking trips around the area telling people about our food I spoke with a young lady who was there helping to clean her brother’s house. She said she wasn’t really hungry, but a group of people had offered to help her and were cleaning in the back yard so we headed that way to ask them. She asked if they had had anything to eat, to which one replied they had some crackers earlier in the day. she asked me if we could feed the entire crew and I said “of course!”. She told the crew she would be back, we went to our trailer and loaded her up with 40 meals. She had no idea who these people were, but that’s what good people do in a disaster, they help one another.

We do this to help others, but it always seems like we are the ones who get blessed. The power of the human spirit never ceases to amaze me.

To learn more about Operation BBQ Relief, visit our website links page and click on their logo.