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Monday, June 23, 2008 

The Merrimack Rockin' Rib Fest - Day One

This was our second year attending the Merrimack Rockin’ Ribfest. We do this event primarily because it’s relatively close to where we live (two hours drive) and very kid friendly. But, this weekend we were only two. Our son had the opportunity to spend a weekend with his Grandfather where he’d get to play with his excavator and tractor, and Hank and Mame opted out of the trip since they’ve had a VERY packed schedule of late.

As I told you all in my previous email, our focus of late has been on work and not on getting ready for the barbecue season. As you’ll find out in my day two report, the lack of focus showed. But, on day one, things were all good! We pulled into Merrimack far later than we had planned but found a good spot close to some of our favorite teams Feeding Friendz (that’s pronounced friend-Z) and Boneyard Smokers. These guys represent teams on the cusp, particularly Feeding Friendz. They all have the strong potential to win it all!

Check out Feeding Friendz's new digs!

One of the noted improvements over last season at Merrimack was the fact that we were allowed to keep our vehicles on site. Because this event takes place on the grounds of the Anheiser Busch brewery, security is tight, making our departure a slow process because they have to guide us out through the back with security (imagine the potential for damage if someone poisoned the beer! Seriously.). Having our rigs on site made it possible for us to load up without having to wait to get our cars like we did last season.

Unlike the Harpoon competition, Merrimack holds their grilling contest on Saturday instead of Sunday. This means that when we load in on Friday evening, it’s a much more relaxed environment. Farmer Girl and I were able to prepare a nice dinner, socialize a bit with our neighbors and get things organized for the next day. She was even able to get some practice in for our entry in the grilled fruit category.

The Saturday grilling competition had four categories: Fish steak, beef steak, sausage and fruit. Farmer Girl and I worked well together (as we always do!) and were able to get our submissions cooked and out in a timely manner. I did the grilling and she did the boxing. It’s funny but that seems to be the norm for most of the husband and wife teams. For my part, I’m glad to be able to turn my thoughts to the next entry as soon as I give her the food – it’s a load off my mind to not have to set up the box.

Here are the final submissions. We don’t have a picture of the fruit entry because I put the camera down somewhere where Farmer Girl couldn’t find it. I was soundly reprimanded for that decision! LOL.

Beef Steak - It probably should have been a touch more rare,
but I was happy with it.

Fish Steak - I went with Tuna. It tasted fantastic, although I think I overcooked it a bit.
At $15-20 a pound, practice is hard to afford.

Sausage - No, I'm not telling you what kind it is (trade secret!).
But it's very, very tasty.

Farmer Girl working on the grilled bananas.
Yes, I should have put the camera back after the last picture.

At 4:00, the final results were in. We were thrilled to come up with a 2nd place trophy for our sausage and even more excited that we placed 4th overall among the 25 teams that competed in the grilling comp. It was an excellent day, and I was more than pleased that we did it using the new Weber grill that was donated to the team by some of our most ardent supporters.

We should also mention that the folks from Feeding Friendz had an excellent showing missing Grand Champion by a sausage, so to speak. They took second in beef steak and first in grilled fruit! Way to go guys!

That's the extent of our day one adventures. The report, like the weather, would take a turn for the cloudy, but it wouldn't be without some excitement!