Sorry I've been a little scarce this weekend but it's been a hectic schedule for us and, frankly, I've been exhausted when we walked in the door each evening and have not been able to keep my eyes open or my mind on long enough to put anything together for you.
Friday was the first night of the annual Maryland BBQ Bash in Bel Air, MD and The Big Guy and I judged the back yard grill competition where anyone can participate in a rib cooking contest from noon to 6 p.m. Some of the KCBS rules are suspended a bit, or at least very loosely enforced, for the rib contest. The ribs are basically grilled as opposed to smoked.
This year, there were 17 back yard teams and only 12 judges. We would normally only judge 6 samples per person but, due to a shortage of Friday night judges, we were forced to judge more. The Big Guy's table did 9 ribs each and we did 8. Bear in mind, it is not necessary to eat the entire rib in order to rate it. Generally, we take 2 or 3 bites of each in order to score the sample. You can always go back later and eat the whole rib if you'd like. I bagged my leftovers and we nibbled on them later while we listened to the live music. Many of the back yard grill winners go on to form a competition cooking team and appear in subsequent years in the real competition.
Saturday, we needed to check in at the judging tent by 10 a.m. There were 52 cooking teams in the KCBS competition. This meant we needed 63 certified judges for the contest. Judges came from as far away as Ohio, Upstate N.Y., and Arkansas this year. By the time the judge's meeting began at 10:30 we were still short a few folks. They had committed to the event but were not yet there. Judging begins promptly at noon and the KCBS reps needed to scramble a bit to locate judges and have them in place by that first turn-in. Some non-certified folks were found to fill in for some support positions, freeing up certified judges to do the actual judging.
When judging of the four competition categories ended at 2 p.m., we migrated over to the stage area and settled in with some friends to enjoy a few cold ones and listen to some quality live entertainment. Though music was still flowing until 10 p.m., we've had a long week and decided to cut out early before the headliner. I was in bed by 10 p.m. and sound asleep. That's almost unheard of for this nightowl!!
The Big Guy has been fantastic through everything for the past ten days. He has chauffeured my sister and I all over for funeral related activities, fixed food, made grocery runs and just patiently guided us through the week. He earned a rest last night and an activity of his choice today. He chose to go to breakfast and then to the casino to let off some steam. Nothing like a little mindless gambling to relax the mind and body. I lost about $10 and then went outside to sit in the sun for awhile and make a few phone calls. I did actually find it relaxing.
Now, it's back to the grind. I've already made a list of "MUST DOs" for tomorrow and it's a daunting list. My shopping and errand list has stretched to two full pages!!!
Looks like another tough week ahead.