Aside from a random selection of movies played on my TV this weekend (Mean Girls, Princess Diaries, Legally Blonde, Anchorman, A Few Good Men, I Love You, Man, The Departed...), nothing much happened. Those of you with good attention to detail may know that my last pieces of furniture, the dining table and chairs, arrived, but since I'm not totally happy with how they look, I haven't photographed them yet.
The biggest activity this weekend was a BBQ Cookoff that Andrew participated in. Sara wanted more info on what it was and what I was doing (at one point she worried I was standing in a dark field, alone) so I took some pics and thought I would share them with you today.
Andrew joined a BBQ cooking team with his coworker and his coworker's dad. His coworker has a huge smoker that sits on a trailer that he can bring with him, and his dad has two smaller smokers, also on a trailer. So that's three smokers. They set up three large tents with a cooking area and tables and chairs, and lined the tops with Christmas lights. There's a generator to keep the power on. This cookoff was extra fancy and gave teams the opportunity to rent a porta-potty, which Andrew's team did (ew). They had a makeshift sink area with a huge cooler of water and dish soap, so at least they tried to keep clean.
Just an idea of all the stuff they brought out with a small smoker in the background | "our own porta-potty (I opted for the real bathrooms, they weren't that far away) | The big smoker and wood. Unfortunately the camper in the back was a different team.
Each cookoff judges different foods: this one was brisket, chicken, ribs, fajitas, beans, and dessert. Teams are given different times to turn everything in. Everything but the fajitas were due on Saturday, but since briskets cook for forever, they set everything up on Friday and basically invite people into their cooking area Friday night to have a big party that lasts until the briskets go on to cook. There were nearly 100 teams at this event, so there was a lot of food and a ton of smoke in the air.
I got to the cookoff, which was an event heavy on beer. I don't drink beer so I kept it classy with individual bottles of wine straight from the bottle. The team had already been cooking all afternoon, and they had lots of stuff ready: feral hog (which I didn't care for but everyone else loved), fajitas, chicken, homemade BBQ sauce, and my favorite thing - boudin-stuffed poblano peppers wrapped in breakfast sausage and then grilled. It was amazing. I ate a bunch and random people drifted in and out of the tent - luckily, a friend of ours was there to keep me company while Andrew cooked.
Keeping it classy with my wine | Feral hog, anyone?
After it got dark, I wanted to walk around and see some of the other set-ups. Some were amazing. There were all kinds of custom trailers and smokers. Some people rented huge tents and had dance floors and DJs. One tent might have been playing The Train and Tootsie Roll and I may have wanted to crash their party after three mini wines, but you weren't there, so you'll never know. One tent had an RV with two TVs mounted to the outside. I thought Andrew's team's set-up was pretty cool until I saw what else was out there and I encouraged him to make new friends!
A wide shot of Andrew's team's set-up | A Houston Texans smoker | One of the cool tents - so big it didn't fit in the pic.
There was lots of gun talk, an old man telling me a story that he probably still hasn't finished, tons of beer, and even more meat. It was definitely an experience and outside of my comfort zone. I left around 12:30 but Andrew was out there all night and most of the day Saturday - it's definitely a time-consuming, tiring hobby. So apparently that's the BBQ life. Next time I say I'm at a cook-off, you'll know that I'm not exactly roughing it and if I'm lucky, I'm bringing a mini bottle of wine to a tent playing the best hits from the late 90s.
Anything else you want to know about a cookoff? How should I go about making friends with the people with the cool tents next time?