Balloons, Bikes, Blues and BBQ

This past weekend we attended the Balloons, Bikes, Blues and BBQ in Parsons Kansas. To say it was an eventful weekend would be an understatement!
Everything was good at the beginning. Meats were trimmed, everything loaded and we left the house on time. We have gotten into the habit of stopping for breakfast as a treat to ourselves on our way to competitions. When we analyzed our route to Parsons, we came to the conclusion that our best bet would be stopping in Douglass for breakfast at the Triangle Cafe, even though it was only half an hour into the trip. As it turned out, it was a pivotal decision.
About half way through breakfast my phone rang. It was David, one of the organizers of the Parsons contest. Earlier in the week they were sitting with 27 teams but two had to drop out, leaving them at the KCBS minimum of 25. Then at 9:30 the day of the contest another called and had to cancel, putting the sanctioning in jeopardy. So David was calling us to see if we would split into two teams once again. We said we would consider it and let him know. As we finished breakfast we went through the equipment we had with us and the possibilities. In the end, we decided that since we were only a little ways from home we would go back home and gather what we would need for a second team. Had we been farther down the road that decision might have been made differently. So we ended up leaving the house for the second time already 2 hours behind.
Once we got there, we unhooked the trailer and Greg got both cook sites set up while Kristi ran for more meat and garnish. Even though we were running a few hours behind, all the meat got trimmed in time for the cook’s meeting and supper which was provided by the contest.
It had rained off and on during the trip over, and the rain continued until late evening. Thus bringing in to play the first black cloud of the weekend, our trailer roof was leaking. Fortunately, a bowl under the drip for a few hours was enough as it did stop raining. No rain, no leak!
The temperature dropped to 34° by early morning, so it was a damp and chilly start to Saturday:

A very hazy start to the morning

A very hazy start to the morning

As with the previous splits, Kristi got the Cookshack smokers and Greg took the Webers:

Weber Smokey Mountain smokers

Weber Smokey Mountain smokers

The organizers mantra was “We Love our Cooks!” and they backed that up with not only a taco bar for supper Friday night, but they also provided oatmeal pancakes and sausage for breakfast Saturday morning. Now if you’ve never had oatmeal pancakes, you need to give them a try. If you have trouble finding a recipe contact us and we’ll hook you up. They were delicious!!

Oatmeal pancakes and sausage for breakfast

Oatmeal pancakes and sausage for breakfast

Saturday turned into a warm and sunny day and both our cooks went off without any major obstacles. We made turn ins on time and started packing up, waiting on awards.
Greg’s only call was for 4th place in Chicken, which was an important one. Once all the Team Of the Year (TOY) points were tabulated, Naughty Nurses BBQ was sitting at #69 in the nation in chicken. Even though this is our last KCBS contest of the year, we feel we have enough points to keep us in the top 100 at the end of the year.
Kristi fared better at awards, starting with 3rd place in the Anything Butt category with a Peanut Butter Cup cheesecake:

Third place Anything Butt! The top 3 were all cheesecakes.

Third place Anything Butt!
The top 3 were all cheesecakes.

She followed this up with a second place in ribs:

Second place Ribs!

Second place Ribs!

And 9th place pork:

Ninth place Pork!

Ninth place Pork!

Giving Kristi a 9th place overall finish compared to Greg’s 14th. This puts Kristi up 2 – 1 in head to head competitions, although it was pointed out that Greg’s win was a Grand Championship and he’s still several hundred dollars ahead in winnings 😉
We made it home without any issues, but the black cloud reared it’s ugly head again on Sunday during the first load of laundry. Now our washing machine is at least 15 years old and has been having some issues lately, but this time it would not drain the water. So after siphoning the water, Greg takes the water pump off and a nickel falls out. How a nickel got into the pump I’ll never know, but I do know it wiped out all of the impeller blades, rendering the pump useless. Of course that pump is no longer manufactured so there would be no easy fix. Time for a new one……
The black cloud continued to hang around as I dug up the outdoor hydrant that had been leaking and learned that the line leading in was rusted through in addition to the hydrant being cracked. On the bright side, it now didn’t matter that the washing machine wasn’t working as I had to shut the water off to the house anyway.
So now it’s Tuesday and the water line has been repaired and a new hydrant installed, the trailer has a tarp over the roof for now with plans to reseal that later this week since no rain is in the forecast, and we get the new washer/dryer on Thursday. Luckily, I will only have to turn my socks and underwear inside out for one day before we can do laundry again.

Our next event will be the BBQ For the Troops at Ft. Riley, so stay tuned for that one.