Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Day 2: Washington, NC BBQ Competition

On Saturday morning, Ashley and I arrived to find our husbands hard at work getting everything in place.  Check out the beautiful scenery!

We were all very nervous about being the first team judged.  Our pig was looking good...we just hoped it was good enough!   I think we all learned that being first judged isn't so bad, because you get it over with so quickly. Normally we are running from tent to tent, trying to guess the arrival time of the judges at our tent.

After the judging was complete, we were able to take in and enjoy the whole festival.  Ashley and I did some shopping, while DJ and Hunter relaxed for the first time in two days.  There were many other activities going on, including a chili cook off.

The relaxing ended as quickly as it began as we made our way to the awards ceremony.  We were nervous again.  Although we do this for fun, it is nice to get a trophy :)  When our name was announced for 3rd place, thats right 3RD PLACE!!, we were ecstatic.  This was the best we had ever done in a barbecue competition. There is one things that is for sure....these two guys definitely know how to cook a great pig!

All four of us agreed that this was the most fun we had at a competition.  We met some awesome people, our pig turned out good and the scenery was beautiful.  We had a weekend getaway and caught up on sleep and relaxation for the rest of the weekend.  It was definitely a picture perfect weekend.  We can't wait to go back this coming October!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Day 1: Washington, NC BBQ Competition

Our first competition of the fall season was in Washington, NC, which is a cozy little town outside of Greenville.  The competition is held annually in October and is right on the river.  Hunter had to work that Friday, so DJ and I took off work and headed down early.  We were supposed to get everything set up by the time Ashley and Hunter arrived.  I will be the first one of us to admit this, but the "cool" tent we have is a real pill to put up!  DJ and I wanted to get everything set up and ready to go before the barbecue meeting.  I am sure that many people around us just sat back and laughed while we struggled with the tent for two hours!!  This was quite embarrassing as we watched other cooks arrive and get everything set up...and we were still fighting with the tent.  I can now say, without a doubt, that I could get it up quicker the next time!  After many hours of sweat, tears and broken fingernails, our site was finally set up.

The barbecue meeting is just a quick review of the rules and the order of judging is determined.  Our site was drawn to be the first judged.  This made us very nervous!!  Rumor has it that being first is the hardest spot to have.  We were determined we would be ready.  Everyone has to go first at some point.

I was one happy woman when I saw the Jeep arrive with our dear friends :)  We spent the evening chatting with our neighboring cooking teams.  Looking back at this competition, we were so lucky to have such wonderful neighbors.  We now officially have "pig" friends, as I like to call them.  It was so fun to hear their stories of pig competitions with each other.  

There was a festival going on one street over from our tent, so we walked over and listened to the music for a bit.  Competitions are so fun when there are lots of other events going on around us.  The streets were full of people hanging out and having a great time.  We enjoyed speaking to all the spectators coming around to all the cooking sites.  

Our pig was delivered and the guys spent a little while checking it out.  They do more than "check it out," but I have no idea what they really do to it.  Following with my tradition of naming every pig, this pig was no exception!  Without further "Houlihan", named after a character in a movie.  I thought it was a really cool name for a pig :)

As the evening got later and the crowd starting thinning, we finally sat down to relax for a few minutes.  Of course, the guys decided they wanted to have some meat to cook during the night.  So Ashley and I headed off to Walmart.  A trip with the four of us wouldn't be complete without a Walmart trip!  Ashley and I spent the night at DJ's uncle's house.  It was so nice to have a home to stay at, instead of a hotel.  We did forget to turn the water heater on, so we had cold showers in the morning.  But we weren't going to let that ruin our day.  It was a beautiful, sunny Saturday and we were ready to meet the judges!!  

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Our First Catering Job!

Right after we all returned from a fabulous vacation, we were hired for our first catering job.  A sweet couple contacted us to cater their rehearsal dinner.  Hunter has known this family for a very long time, and we were all very excited to cook for them!!  Here we are, less than a year of cooking together, and we have our first job!  The venue for the rehearsal dinner was perfect.  The couple held both the wedding and rehearsal dinner on their family's land.  It was so nice for us to meet new people, who were all very excited to eat our barbecue.

All four of us were amazed, watching all of the guests line up to get our food.  The whole situation just didn't seem real.  We were actually at our first catering job...and everyone LOVED the dinner we worked so hard to prepare.  We served both chopped and pulled barbecue, green beans, boiled potatoes, homemade banana pudding and pig pickin' cake.  

We were so busy the whole time, making sure everything was perfect...I didn't get many pictures!  Catering is no takes a lot of hard work and impeccable timing to ensure everything runs smoothly. We had the time of our lives, pulling pork off the grill and filling the guests' cups with sweet tea and lemonade.  All four of us have visions of what we would like to happen with "Two Guys and A Pig Barbecue," and it was amazing for us to accomplish one of our major goals.  

The rehearsal dinner was definitely a success and we couldn't be happier with the memories we have of this event!  We definitely express our gratitude to the bride and groom, and their families for hiring us to cook for such a special event.  We wish the couple a lifetime of happiness!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Two Guys & Their Wives on Vacation!!

At the end of September, we went on vacation for a week.  Thankfully, no pigs were involved...but that doesn't mean there weren't discussions about it!!  I guess that is what happens when the two guys share a similar love :)

We started the party at McKinley's in Clayton to celebrate my birthday!

Hunter and Ashley stayed at our house so we could get up early and hit the road.  We drove all day and stayed in Ft. Lauderdale for the evening.  It was late and we didn't get to the beach.  So we hit the bed early to makes sure we got to the port on time.  We were going to Mexico!!

Our cruise lasted for five days and stopped in Cozumel for the day.  We had lots of sun, sand and relaxation during that time.  We rented a Jeep in Cozumel and took a tour of the island.  Afterwards, we had an authentic Mexican lunch at Pancho's Backyard.  The food was fabulous and puts Mexican here in the US to shame.  We started to shop, but got distracted by Fat Tuesday's.  We ended up hanging out and dancing there for a few hours.  It was definitely an unforgettable afternoon!

We got all dressed up for formal night, sat by the pool and enjoyed the scenery and ate lots of wonderful food!

We definitely had a blast on the ship!  It was the perfect vacation, and I wouldn't change one thing!! 
On our way home, we split the drive up by stopping in Savannah for the evening.  We enjoyed great food on the water and the amazing sunset.  Savannah is one of my favorite cities, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to visit...even if it was for a few hours! 

I can't say enough wonderful things about this vacation.  We had never taken a vacation with another couple, but I would say it was definitely a success!  The boys went and played during the day while Ashley and I hung out at the pool.  We took naps in the afternoons and stayed out late dancing in the evenings.  
We had the time of our lives!!

We had lots of pig events in October and November, so it was perfect timing for a vacation!  Our first catering job was coming up and two more competitions to go until our "season" was over.  So glad we rested up!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The best thing about cooking....

The best thing about cooking, is watching people lined up to eat and enjoy the hard work and time you put into preparing such a fabulous meal.  A few weeks ago, Hunter's mom had a 4th of July party at her house.  Of course, there was a pig, but even better was the pool.  There is nothing more refreshing than jumping in the pool to cool down from the summer heat.  So between the pig, pool and a was a perfect scenario for a July 4th party!

Hunter's mother cooked many of the sides.  I tried out a new recipe for baked beans....and from the looks at how quickly they were eaten, I think they were a hit!

For this event, we cooked a little pig weighing in at only 75 pounds.  I really think the more pigs we cook, each one tastes better than the last.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Where have we been?!?

So I slacked off in writing on our blog...I guess a new job will do that to you!  Lately, we have been just hanging out and trying to stay cool.  A few weekends ago we cooked a shoulder and enjoyed an evening together.  The shoulder was cooked perfectly!  Here are some pictures to prove it.

We had a blast just hanging out and eating a delicious dinner.  Hunter's coworker joined us for the festivities.  You never know what is going to happen when all four of us get together.  The evening started with a water balloon fight-the girls ambushing the boys.  They had no idea what was coming...but yet they didn't run from us like we wanted them to.  They just stood there, testing out our lack of aim and laughed at Ashley and I.  They did try to retaliate later on in the evening, but we out smarted them again...the rest of the balloons were safely tucked away in Hunter's bathroom drawer.  DJ and Hunter were never able to find them!

DJ and Hunter set up the tent to get more practice taking it up and down.  A thunderstorm came through and everyone stayed dry while the pig cooked.  The ferocious wind almost got the tent, but thankfully Hunter and DJ saved the day!!  Once the weather cleared up, we resumed our game of cornhole and the guys started enjoying the PJ (party juice) that they had made that morning.

The night ended with Slip-N-Slide in the backyard.  The neighbors must have been entertained,  I am sure you could hear the screams and laughter around the block.  Who would have thought five adults could have the best time on a toy for a 7 year old.  We had no bathing suits...we were just sliding down in our regular clothes, thanks to Dawn detergent!  We all had the time of our lives.  Unfortunately, there are no pictures of this event, I attempted but not one of them turned out.  Next time we will just have to do it during the daylight hours, so everyone can see how much better Slip-N-Slide is as an adult.  That is until someone looses their wedding ring in the grass.  We did have a brief pause in the party, when Hunter's ring flew off his finger.  But no worries, he found it the next morning and it is safely back in place!!

And until next our babies that had a blast this day, running and playing in the back yard!!




Next post will be about all about catering and our new ideas!!  

Monday, May 16, 2011

The 2nd Competition: Kinston: Saturday

Saturday morning was filled with the usual nervous jitters of how our pig turned out.  The day was not filled with last minute running around like the last competition, but we were all way more nervous time around.  Our pig was just sooo big!  At the first competition, DJ and Ashley both cut their fingers.  I cut my finger on the way to Kinston.  So Hunter was warned, your turn is next so just be prepared for something to happen to your finger and be extra careful!!  Sure enough, when the pig was flipped, Hunter burned his finger and wound up with a huge blister.  Hopefully, now that we have all had injuries we are in the clear for a while.

As the judges were making their way around the tents, we knew our pig was not the best one we had ever cooked.  We had little hope that we placed, but you never know...there is always that chance.  The judges were pleasant, and our favorite judge was there this time too.  We had the cake waiting since he loved it so much in Newport.  I am sure he remembered us once we saw our cake!  One of the things that was different about this competition, was you could not wear or display anything with your logo.  So Hunter and DJ changed shirts before the judges arrived.  Once the judging was over, we were able to try our pig.  Hunter then cut his finger (what did I say about the curse!) on the skin of the pig.  This was not a good sign at all, that the skin was that hard.  The meat was delicious and moist but the skin was far from perfect.  We were all so frustrated with the way that it turned out and the fact that even the judges noticed our pig was huge and fat.  

We knew from the beginning, those two factors would come into play when the pig was finished.  Beyond that frustration, we knew that it was something that couldn't be controlled or changed.  So in the end, we just looked at this competition as a learning experience and sucked up our pride.  DJ and Hunter chopped barbecue like crazy until the there was nothing left to chop.  My family arrived in time for the competition and it was great to have people supporting us there.  We enjoyed the company while we waited for the awards ceremony.  The awards ceremony came and went with no awards being given to our team.  It was more of a blow to the ego than anything, after doing so well in Newport.  But we did have a feeling that we would not recieve a at least we weren't completely devastated.  There were only four places given out per category of pig cooker. There were two categories, back yard and professional.  Two Guys & A Pig were ranked professional since we have placed at another competition.  We ended up placing 20th out of 62 teams.

So we all agreed that Kinston was definitely a learning experience for all of us.  We had a great time which is most important.  We also learn something new after every pig we cook, so we learned a few more things that we are going to try for the next competition.  We now have a packing checklist for the competitions so we don't forget all the things necessary for the weekend.  We sure have accumlated alot of things in the past two competitions, but I think we are set for the next one!