Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Flat Branch BBQ In The Park, Moweaqua, IL

This past weekend we traveled into central Illinois again. this time it was to the town of Moweaqua, IL, about 15 miles south of Decatur. One of the things that we enjoy about cooking in BBQ competitions is visiting places that we ordinarily wouldn't visit. Moweaqua is one of those places.

The competition was held in conjunction with a town festival which included a carnival and a car show. This was a Saturday-Sunday competition and we pulled into town shortly before 11:00am. Apparently there was a parade that was about to start so we drove down a Main Street that was lined with people waiting for the parade. I waved at some of the people but they looked at me like I was nuts (which I probably am :) )

The competition was held at Central park in Moweaqua and the teams were setup along the street on the north side of the park. Our spot was in front of a house and the organizer told us that the folks who lived there would allow us to set up on their lawn and to park our truck on their driveway. We had a chance to meet the homeowners and thanked them for allowing us to move in for the weekend :)

This was the first year for this competition and the organizer struggled to get the minimum of 15 teams required to make this a qualifier under KCBS rules. At the last minute two local teams stepped up to cook and another team drove over from Hannibal, MO where they competed in a Friday-Saturday competition. With those last minute additions the final team count was 16 teams! We ended up in between Bandit BBQ and the Black Kettle Cooks and across from Gilly's Barnstormin' BBQ and Back Porch Q. One of the other things that we enjoy about these competitions is seeing old friends and meeting new ones. We had cooked across from Gilly's at Taylorville but this was the first time we met Back Porch Q and Bandit BBQ. Jim from Bandit BBQ and I have exchanged messages on Facebook and some BBQ sites but had never met in person.

Overall the competition was well run. There were a few first-time glitches, such as ash and grease disposal, but once the organizer was made aware of these needs he took care of them. The local Boy Scouts were recruited to pick up trash and they also delivered ice as needed.

The weather cooperated this weekend. Saturday was warm and sunny, but a little windy. At one point a strong gust of wind caused some damage to our trailer awning. Thanks to some help from our neighbors we were able to get the awning back into the stowed position and we'll see about repairs as time allows. Otherwise things were calm and pleasant. We did have a few sprinkles as we were packing up, but not enough to matter.

The judges this week liked our food for the most part. We ended up taking 5th place in ribs and brisket and first place for our pork. This was the first time that we came in first in pork and it felt good to break our pork drought :) Unfortunately the judges didn't like our chicken at all. We ended up last in chicken and that low score cost us either the Grand Championship or the Reserve Grand Championship. As it is we ended up third overall. We were very happy with that finish, but GC or RGC would have been better.

This week Amy wore her MOINK slippers.

Our next competition is the Rotary Ribfest in Elk Grove Village, IL on June 19 & 20.

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