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What a Day

Posted by on in Bar-B-Que

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As a member of Charred Forces and a behind-the-scenes Papa Rock Volunteer, I get to experience the best of both worlds as a contestant & worker.

This past Saturday my team and I arrived at 8 am to set up in Smoker’s Alley, on the Flood premises.  Mike (the Grill Sergeant), my kids (PV1 Katie & PV Jake), Jess, Dale (Seasoning Specialist) & Slade Bode, and myself started with our canopy (can a pea – Burnt Offerings), and then the men started doing what they do best…smokin’!  Katie kicked off the cookin’ by lighting the charcoal chimney.   My kiddos set up our sample table and their merchandise that they were selling.  Katie makes earrings & sells them to fund her dessert entry & ingredients, and Jake, who is not to be outdone by his sis, decided to sell some of his bouncy ball collection.  Thanks to all who bought items; we appreciate the support and it’s encouraging for them both.  

While the team settled in, I headed out to distribute muffins to each of the smoking teams and see what assistance I could give to my friend, Cece.  Karie & Sydney Flood made the loop before I did though, handing out a bag of charcoal & wood chunks courtesy of Platinum Salon.  (Mike is always so appreciative of those items.)  As the morning progressed, being the Plating Bombshell – my Charred Forces nickname, I was free to go talk with the teams.  One of the things I love about Braggen Rights is all the familiar faces & relationships I have with a majority of the teams: Ron (Allred Southern Smokin’ Sauce) is my pastor, I had the privilege of teaching both Miller Charm & ½ of the Burnt Offerings Teams, and I went to school with 2/3 of the Ultimate Sacrifice team.  

Live music filled the air and mingled with the mouth watering aroma of smoked meat.  My mother-in-law commented that she loved the variety of music that was played: jazz, bluegrass/fiddlin’, and blues.  I also heard that some of the crowd couldn’t get over how talented the two young bands were.  Thank you for liven’ up the atmosphere Main Street Blues, Madison’s High School Jazz band, and the Knaebel group.  

Once I had made my rounds, I wandered toward the house to lend my assistance with lunch preparations and setting up the open class judging.  Lunch was amazing as always; you can’t beat Papa Rock’s pulled pork, potato salad, coleslaw, and a new addition to the menu Eric’s baked beans!  I believe we served over 200 people this year, which is the largest crowd Braggen Rights has pulled in the 2 years it’s been operation.  The dessert class judging started at 1 and there were several yummy looking sweets.  I was particularly drawn to the tiny blue frosted cupcakes with the patriotic red sprinkles (but I’m biased because my Katie baked those).  

Once the open & dessert classes were finished being judged and all three bands had played once, I had the privilege of giving a short Memorial Day speech.  I invited those in attendance who had lost members, those who have served, those still serving, and those who want to serve to come forward.  I also challenged the audience to thank them by shaking their hands.  It was an emotional moment for me because two of my teammates (my husband & Dale) were among the honored as well as one of my former students.  

Turn in times fast approached after that and I had to get busy doing my job as part of Charred Forces, plating.  With my assistant Katie and my guys handing me some delicious looking meat, I got the 3 dishes prepared.  In between turn-in times, I sat on the hill, next to the judges’ tables to see if I could get a read on their faces, but this year’s judges were very stoic.  They had some of the best poker faces I’ve ever seen.  Thanks Marcus for the turn in time reminders; they were very helpful.  

4 o’clock funnel cakes by Todd McSwane was a big hit again once the judging was complete.  I know two young kids that had powdered sugar all over themselves.  The crowd seemed to thin after that, but there was still a good amount of people to give applause to the winners at 4:30.  There was a wide variety of winners this year, which I think was encouraging for some of the newer teams & returning teams.  Our team held our own pretty well this year: Katie got a ribbon for youngest baker in the dessert class and the guys received honorable mention in the chicken, 2nd in the open class & 1st in ribs.  

Overall the day was fantastic.  The weather was gorgeous; several people were pink &/or red from the sun.  Fun, food, and fellowship was had by all, and Memorial Day weekend wouldn’t have been as memorable without Braggen Rights.

- Submitted by Sara Jackson, aka Mustang Sally, aka Plating Bombshell

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