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Monday, September 08, 2008 

Why we do this

As my summer slips into the distance, I’m finally putting my own thoughts together with regard to our 2008 season. As you read in my previous posts this summer’s barbecue events were marked by the good and the bad. As the leader of our team, I could have found myself in a state of depression regarding my performance. However, the opportunity to take time away from both work and competition has given me the benefit of perspective. The weekend after Harpoon Farmer Girl and I held our annual birthday bash for the 19th year in a row.

The spread.

For those who don’t know, she and I have birthdays that fall three days from eachother, since 1989 we’ve been celebrating our mutual birthdays with a party for friends and family. As we laid out our food and enjoyed the company of our friends on August 2nd, I was reminded why I got involved in barbecue in the first place. It’s for these people. I love to cook. And even more than that, I love to cook for my friends and family. When compared to fellow barbecue teams we have a lot to learn, but among our friends and family we’re exceptional cookers with a solid base of fans. In speaking to someone several days after the party, they were still talking about how good the food was. These accolades make our efforts worthwhile.

Party meats - Pulled Pork in sauce, Pork Ribs and, Smoked Bologna.

Two weekends later, we headed up to Duxbury to run the food tent off of the first hole of St. Divots, the home-made golf course that hosts Old Bull and Mame’s Seven Fires Tournament. This is another party that has been going on for decades and like our birthday bash, the attendees leave impressed with the food and the fun that they’ve all had. This is why we do what we do. The sheer “over-the-top” spectacle of bringing finger foods to the tournament payers is well worth it. During the tournament we handed out multitudes of wings (hot and sweet), slices of steak, smoked kielbasa, flatbreads, sausage and spare ribs. Following the awards ceremony, we presented players with a massive meal that included pot-luck dishes from others as well as my pulled pork, more flatbreads and even a venison.

We do this for the laughs and the good times!

I think that one of the most enjoyable elements about cooking at St. Divots is that when I arrive, I’m never 100% sure what I’ll be cooking. Obviously, I knew the ribs were going to be served, because they came with me. And, the wings HAD to happen. But other foods show up as donations. For example, Old Bull’s brother brought a couple of good sirloins which got split between folks on-course. The night before the tournament, someone handed us a frozen leg of venison to cook! Farmer Girl does a fantastic job butchering venison (which is the key to making it taste good) and she spent three hours working on it. I was able to throw a pair of nice venison roasts on to the pellet smoker for the dinner crowd – they came out great!

These two events, which have been going on for almost twenty years, help define why we enjoy doing this. We do what we do because we love it. We love to cook. We love to cook for our friends. We love to do this and we’ll be back next season, trying our best to beat the rest.