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Entering a Grillin' and Chillin' cook-off this weekend!


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A young sister that works with me and I have entered our small community cook-off this weekend. She has worked as a chef at a well known french resturant for two and a half years and I have had experience cooking for my husband's yacht club in Marina Del Rey, Ca and for Sony Studios when we lived in LA.

She is not quite 21--will be in two weeks--and has already won several state competitions and mentored culinary students cooking teams and placed third in Nationals in San Diego three years ago--when she was just 18. I have never entered an official cooking competetion and am a little nervous about doing so. Check in time is at 6pm tonight and the juding at 11:30 tomorrow. We are hoping that this will give us the added attention we need to bring our food sales up so we may convert our bar status to a resturant.

She has never smoked meat before and will be there for support and hopefully fun. We will be giving samples of my Black Jack BBQ Sauce (made with blackberries and a cup of Jack Daniels) along with brisket, pork and my bourbon and brown sugar baked beans. Although she is a chef in her own rights and I am a self taught cook she freely admits to being able to follow recipes where I have the ability to whip up something out of nothing. She is there to put the resturant in order and show me how to make a menu that will be profitable and keep from wasting food. I think we work well together and am hoping that we place in the competition.

I have not prayed about this because I feel like it is like a sporting game--Jehovah really does not care who wins. But I keep thinking that this will help bring attention to our business which would ultimatley bring my goal is to realization of just having sisters working there in a great environment and surly Jehovah wants those changes to be able to happen.

I don't feel this is the same as "Jehovah please help me win" just for the recognition. I am trying to work in harmony with my prayers. I also want to be able to auxillary pioneer and increase my hours from 15-20 a month to 50. Anyone have in good tips on smoking a brisket and pork butt> Besides low and slow---190-225 degrees till Armegeddeon comes?

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Anyone have in good tips on smoking a brisket and pork butt> Besides low and slow---190-225 degrees till Armegeddeon comes?

Hi LeslieDean,

Sounds like an interesting challenge you've got on your hands there. I actually don't profess to having any ability in the kitchen whatsoever. So prepare yourself for what I'm about to suggest...

Down in New Zealand here we've learned from the Maori's how to cook food in a ground 'Hungi'. The flavour of the food is uniquely smokey. One time we cooked a hungi in our back yard. The maori brother who took care of the cooking was a bit dissappointed because the meat didn't all cook properly. Anyway, there was plenty of food so the stuff that wasn't cooked properly we just chucked in the freezer and forgot about it, until that winter when supplies were running low. It was only then we found this meat roast that had been half cooked in the hungi. We just finished it off as a normal roast.

Now LeslieDean, you wouldn't believe how unbelievably beautiful that meat was. It had all the smokey flavours, but it's like it had matured like a fine wine. It was so tender it just fell apart. I've never tasted any meat dish as beautiful before or since then. Think about it... Have you ever noticed how leftovers (even meat dishes) sometimes taste better second time round a couple of days after it's had time to sit? You could try smoking the meat in a smoker until it's half cooked well ahead of time, say a week beforehand (if you have the time) then freeze it until you need it. Then just cook it normally. Remember it's already half cooked so it probably shouldn't take long at all.

Let me know if it works cause I've never actually tried it. I usually leave all the cooking to my wife, but I do a pretty good BBQ.

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To Dave,

Hello my brother. We placed second overall in the brisket and pork competition and my bourbon brown sugar baked beans took first place! I made a Black Jack BBQ Sauce--made with blackberries and Jack Daniels that he judges said if their was a category for original bbq sauces it would have took first place. One of the judges said that he was going to copy my idea for the Black Jack Sauce because it was the "bomb'! Very happy with the results since this was my first competition and I have just recently started smoking meats. Thank you for your interest. I have actually smoked meats before and the health department says to freeze them if not consumed within 7 days. I hardly ever have any left but occassionaly will have to freeze the meat for our lounge. The next week we will pull out what we need and microwave the smoked meats for nachos and I make a smoked salsa to serve over the top along with candied jalapenos. These are a hugh seller. And yes the smoked meat is just as good after it has been frozen for a week. Have never had to use it after longer than a week so I am not sure if the quality is effected or continues to improve before freezer burn sets in.

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