Whew! What a whirlwind. I wish I could recap all of Hogs for the Cause for my lovely readers, but having your own team makes you a bit self centered, meaning, you don't get to really enjoy all the event has to offer, just what your individual booth has to offer. It rained all day Friday which made it more hectic, and very muddy.
Hogs for the Cause started 8 years ago very small with a few people with weber grills out at the "Fly" in Audubon Park. It was started by two guys that were inspired by a child with pediatric brain cancer. It has grown into a premier barbecue cook off and is the largest fundraiser in the country specifically for pediatric brain cancer family support. This year there were 95ish teams. (some dropped out ahead of time and some were turned away by the weather).
There are 5 traditional categories, Whole Hog, Sauce, shoulder, ribs and porkpourri (a creative dish with pork) and this year there were two bonus categories, creative Blue Plate mayonnaise side and Martin's Potato Rolls perfect bite. There are also awards for fundraising, best booth and best Friday night party. Our team, Sweet Swine of Mine, competed in everything but whole hog. As I have told you before, we are the only all-female team that competes.
I was the main meat smoker and the leader of the food portion of our team's day. This is NOT all there is to it. Some other amazing ladies ran the ship, communicated with the whole team, fundraised their patooties off and were just general bad asses. It was a blast, a long day, a mess and in the end a wonderful effort to support families battling pediatric brain cancer. Here is my very limited food-centric recap. Please enjoy!
|I was trying to make peanut beer brittle for my porkpourri dish, but ended up making a praline. Instead of brittle, I made it into peanut butter dust! You will see why later.|
|Just one step in making the porkpourri, bacon cannoli's!|
|Friday was a rainy bust and we had to wait until the late evening to rub our butts.|
|Team Deuce Pigalo, Pork Gigolo won the Friday night party as usual. Bad pic but this was DJ Windows 98 himself, Win Butler of Arcade Fire.|
|It wasn't too bad the next day in our area, but no one was there yet to exacerbate the mud. It was hard to get up at 4:30 after a fun Friday night to head out there and start smoking.|
|We couldn't set up anything Friday so Saturday morning was hectic. Rubbing ribs, smoking meats and setting up with limited help.|
|The main entrance was totally flooded.|
|We got the booth set up all nice in no time. We placed in the top ten for best booth!|
|Our beautiful team before the mayhem.|
|I spent most of my time with the meat and the smoker.|
|Pullin that pork!|
|My family came! Here's my cute niece with cotton candy|
|Here's my other cute niece helping me assemble our Porkpourri, a bacon cannoli with chocolate-ricotta filling (it tasted just like a wendy's frosty) topped with peanut butter dust.|
|We served them in a cigar box|
|We didn't sell to the public, but I let my niece purchase one!|
|My pork shoulder and but for the judges on the "real smoker"|
After I finished cooking, drinking and mayhem ensued. There was a ton of mud, fun, friends and music. The award ceremony was delightful as usual. We did not place in the top ten in food, but we did roll with the big boys where it counted, in fundraising. We don't have our total yet, but it is somewhere between 10 and 20 thousand, just for my team!
The event was a success as usual and kicks off the season of festivals. I did hardly anything yesterday but draft this and wash my hair, unusual for me. If you love barbecue and a good time with some great music, you need to come experience Hogs for the Cause yourself. I cannot explain how fun it is!
Hope you all had great weekends! Back to food tomorrow!