I’ve mentioned to people that I have a blog, but that it’s been on a bit of a hiatus. Tonight I took a quick look, and it’s been over a year since I’ve written!!! Totally unacceptable. But I’m still around, despite best rumors! So let’s see how 2017 went… in a nutshell: FAST!
On the BBQ Front
BBQ has continued to be very good to me despite my hibernating tendencies. One of my biggest highlights of 2017 was attaining my KCBS Master Certified Barbecue Judge credentials! And on my first attempt, nonetheless!
Along with picking up Master CBJ status, I also became a KCBS Certified Table Captain! Becoming a table captain is one of those things that was always on my radar, but I never really pulled the trigger until when I took the class prior to the 2017 American Royal.
Speaking of the American Royal, I got the privilege to judge again in 2017. For me, the American Royal is akin to a great big reunion of friends where I just also happen to judge and eat some damn fine BBQ!
And don’t think that I slacked off in the cooking front either. A huge perk for the summer of 2017 was some friends loaning us a Big Green Egg to cook on for the summer in exchange for teaching them how to use it. Now that was an offer I couldn’t refuse! And while I love my Weber Jumbo Joe, there’s something to be said for having access to such a versatile cooker.
And cook on it we did! From pizza to rack of lamb to beef ribs, everything was fair game! But my favorite thing that I cooked this summer was a buffalo tri-tip. I came up with a special marinade for this beauty, and the end product was a work of art!
And even though I was on a break, some fine BBQ product manufacturers were gracious enough to continue to work with me! Two of my favorites are Grilla Grills and Mojobricks. I got to spend some time with Shane Draper over the holidays. Shane works extensively with Grilla Grills as their BBQ consultant (for lack of a better term). Shane is the brains behind the Grilla Grills line of sauces and rubs, and wow are they fantastic! The flavor profiles are spot on, and I highly recommend any of them.
I have known Fred Grosse from Mojobricks for almost 5 years now, and he has a fantastic product out on the market!
For those who don’t know, Mojobricks are a compressed all-natural wood product that uses organic polymers to hold together the wood fibers and create a slow-burning wood product. They’re available in multiple smoke flavors (Competition Blend, Cherry, Apple, Maple, a “Mapple” blend) and three different sizes to provide various amounts of smoke over time.
Currently Mojobricks is running a Kickstarter campaign to increase retail presence and invest in display equipment needed to better promote their product. If you’re interested in helping out, their Kickstarter campaign can be found here. It’s a worthy product worthy of investment.
On the RV Life Front
The RV life continues to be kind to us. In October we made our biggest change when we upgraded from a 26′ travel trailer to a 35′ fifth wheel!
For quite some time we had been discussing upgrading to a fifth wheel. However, an opportunity presented itself in October and we decided to make the move. So far it’s been great!! Much roomier than the travel trailer, and the overall tow length is only one foot longer than the trailer.
After our time in Montana was up for the year, we headed south for the winter (in dramatic fashion, as always, when trying to beat a major snowstorm that was coming into the area). But we survived and got to spend time in Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and San Antonio on our travels south.
We spent the remainder of the year on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Then a couple of weeks into the new year, we made our way north towards Oxford, MS. After spending a couple of weeks there (one of which I was gone for work travel), we made our way back south to Opp, Alabama to this hidden gem of a state park there.
Where will our travels take us next? Who knows… but I can’t wait to share it! Follow me on Instagram to keep up with my shenanigans. Happy trails, and good eats!