Jan 31 2008

Feast or Famine

That’s what this time of the year represents…because we are now in the famine stage. In November and December we were doing multiple parties on the same day. Fed 3,500 people in Forsyth Park, cooked for over 1000 at the Roundhouse, and we cooked at the National Barbecue Festival (winning two first place trophies…one for brisket and one for ribs). Now that we are in our January doldrums, TLW has suggested that we get back to blogging.

So, here we are with two reformatted computers and none of our information was saved! Guess what TLW got for Christmas? An external hard drive…now we can back up our work…kind of like locking the barn door after the horse is stolen!! She asked me if we weren’t going to elaborate more on our exciting Fall, and, of course, I plan to!

I think the thing I am most proud of is when we engineered the Day of Great Thanksgiving where 3,500 folks were fed in Forsyth Park. It soon became very apparent that even though we own two Southern Prides, we were no match for feeding this kind of crowd. Nor was the small kitchen in the Old Savannah City Mission capable of that kind of production. There is an old saying that when you do big parties, you need to just break it down into a bunch of smaller parties. That is exactly what we did! We got Paula Deen’s restaurant, The Lady & Sons, to do the gravy…about 50 gallons of it! The Mansion at Forsyth Park did the green beans. Savor Savannah Catering produced the yams and Savannah Technical College (Culinary) produced the dressing. The General smoked 240 turkeys. Savor Savannah also loaned us four huge hotboxes to keep everything warm. Isn’t it MARVELOUS when a plan comes together? Guess what? We did all of this in less than a week.

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The first of November saw us in Douglas, GA competing in the National BBQ Festival . In 2006, we finished in the top ten of the open contest, so this year we were invited to compete in the Invitational where the top ten teams from each sanctioning body around North America were invited to participate. We did respectably in the invitational, finishing in the middle of the pack of 38 teams with one call only…for 9th place in chicken. The open brought many more teams…over sixty. We thought we turned in good products on Friday, so we aimed at producing similar results for Saturday’s event. When it came time for the awards ceremony, our name was not called in chicken. We knew that our chicken turned out darker than the day before, so that was not a surprise. But what was a huge surprise was that we won first place in ribs, and first place in brisket. Had we scored better in chicken, we would have taken first place overall…but we ended up third overall! We were so proud of our performance, since we only cook twice a year, and we were up against some very strong competitors who compete a lot more frequently. If you get a top three call in any category, besides the money, the team is also awarded a beautiful brass bell (small for third to large for first). TLW had been saying all weekend that she wanted a bell….and now she has two big ones!!



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