Wednesday, March 4, 2015
It was time to update the Mad Meat Genius logo. The dogs pictured in the old logo are fond memories of past canine companions. Lucy is our new 'English Cream Golden Retriever Lap Dog'. As you can probably tell she rules the roost. Also Ms. Goofy wanted to get involved. She is instrumental in Meat Adventures because she drives the Racing Honda. My sister, 'ThePresidentofCookies' is the artist. When she is not embarrassing me with old pictures she created this fine logo. Thanks 'ThePresidentofCookies' we love the new logo.
Monday, March 2, 2015
Our first bbq competition of the year was the; ‘6th Annual Lake Havasu Music Brews & Bbq Championship’. It was held in the retirement/spring break community of Lake Havasu Arizona who also boasts being the home of the ‘London Bridge’ I can personally vouch that the London Bridge is not falling down. Lake Havasu is 600 miles away and Ms. Goofy made the journey in less than 9 hours. She drove so fast we actually gained an hour or maybe that was because of the time zone difference. It was a fast and furious weekend and we would like to share some images with you.
This was a big contest with eighty two teams participating. The competitors came from as far away as Florida. (Swamp Boys). The teams started to roll in as early as Thursday. The venue was located right on the edge of the lake. The weather could not have been nicer with temperatures breaking into the 70’s. A little wind did pick up on Saturday but we enjoyed the beautiful climate.
We had a full schedule of judging duties. Friday, several warm up competitions were held. Spicy, red, green, no beans, beans, and more chili’s were created for competition. The public participated in the judging by sampling and selecting there favorite. A bbq sauce competition followed. This category was very difficult to judge because we sampled it naked (not us, but with out food). They were all so good. One of my favorite categories is “Anything Butt”. This category the competitors try to impress the judges with any food item that is not included in the four meat categories to be judged tomorrow. Some lucky judges were treated to a lobster dish entry. Last but not least a kid’s competition was judged. Future bbq warriors submitted some very high quality bbq. This just whetted our appetite for the competition tomorrow.
It is Saturday and time to judge the four meat categories of chicken, ribs, pork and brisket. We sampled and scored some of the best bbq in the nation. It is unbelievable how fabulous some of these entries are. My fingers got tired of writing the number 9 which is the highest score given. Some judges including myself got the privilege to judge a dessert category. Cheesecake, bacon topped cupcakes, tiramisu, cakes, pies and so much more were offered today. I really needed to take a nap but now it was time to mingle with the crowd and visit the teams.
We had the difficult task of picking the winners. Congratulations to “Knock Ur Sox Off Bbq for winning Grand Champion and ‘Big Poppa Smokers’ for winning Reserve Grand Champion. This was our first contest of the year. It was the perfect warm up to get us excited about the contests to come. Good times!
Saturday, February 28, 2015
Greetings from Lake Havasu Arizona. We are hunkered down in the swanky 'London Bridge Resort' for a weekned full of BBQ, Music and Brews. This bridge is the actual real bridge from london. We are in the mood for some competition bbq. There should be over 70 teams this weekend. Stay tuned for more details.
Thursday, February 26, 2015
A new discovery to add to our Meat Adventure itinerary is the Sonoma County Meat Company. Rian Rinn and Jenine Alexander opened this butcher shop last year in Santa Rosa California. This is a full service meat shop. This is a one stop shop for local farmers to cut and wrap their meat needs. It also is a retail shop for the local public. They offer C.S.A. programs. (Community Supported Agriculture). This gives the public an opportunity to buy a monthly subscription box of 5,10 or 15 pound assortment of meats. It is located on the outskirts of downtown so parking Karma was not needed this stop.
The outside of the building is pretty non-descript except for a sign board announcing our destination. Once inside we walk into a familiar venue. A butcher is slicing and dicing various cuts of meat. There are several meat cases displaying future eating pleasures. The variety of meat is impressive; sausage, bacon, crepinetes, beef (grass fed, grass fed grain finished) pastured raised pork and so much more.
There was sliced bacon but we wanted slab so I asked the butcher/clerk. He called the owner Jenine Alexander who was in the back processing area. She came and brought me back to the working area of the shop. I also got to meet the other owner Rian Rinn. There were several employees’ busy making sausage and performing butcher duties. One thing I noticed was how clean this work area was. It was very impressive. I also had my choice of some very nice slab bacon especially brought out by my request. We returned to the retail area to finish filling up our shopping cart.
We purchased numerous meat items. One standout item was a Delmonico cut of beef. This was grass raised but grain finished beef. It was a treat for our bbq meal. The bacon was smoked to perfection. It had a very meaty flavor. We also had some jalapeno/cheese sausage that was only fair according to Ms. Goofy. She claimed there was not enough cheese and lacking jalapeno flavor. Two out of three is not bad. We plan to return to Sonoma Meat for future meat research.
Sonoma Meat Company
35 Sebastopol Avenue,
Santa Rosa, CA 95407
35 Sebastopol Avenue,
Santa Rosa, CA 95407
Monday, February 23, 2015
Salsa is a condiment that showcases the finest flavors of summer. Fresh salsa is vibrant and refreshing. Sometime the processing will dull these fresh qualities to make the product shelf stable. This is not the case with Santipapas Salsa. We are reviewing salsa that is: organic, small batch and created with locally sourced seasonal produce. This is some great salsa. Read Full Review Here
Friday, February 20, 2015
Thistle Meats in Petaluma California has embraced the 'nose to hoof' locally sourced concept. If that is your calling this is the place. This is our second visit, returning to sample bacon which was not available our last trip. Our last visit had mixed results. The best pickles ever, decent hamburger and shoe leather tough marinated flank steak was our trophies. This Meat Adventure an old salt mine cohort, 'The Great White Hunter' drove and provided comic relief. I am not sure if parking karma would apply because The Great White Hunter was behind the wheel but we did park very close to our destination.
Bacon was available today. It looked decent enough. We had to cringe at the 16 dollars a pound price tag. I guess we were paying the hipster nose to tail locally sourced surcharge. This bacon was good but not worthy of singing praises of bacon hallelujah. That is because we found another bacon product at Thistle that was unique and very worthy of joyful celebration. Bacon Jam would save the day on this Meat Adventure. This jam was sold in small plastic tubs. I also bought some more of the best pickles ever.
We do not have a lot of information on the bacon jam.. It was a sweet/savory bacony treat. Of course finely chopped bacon was the main ingredient. We also tasted the most wonderful caramelized onions. These two ingredients melded together to form a thick paste that when warmed was a heavenly decadent treat. The bacon jam had more smoke flavor than the slab bacon that we had purchased. A healthy spoonful was placed on a cooking burger to slightly warm The combination of sweet caramelized onions, spices and smoky bacon just worked to compliment and elevate our burger. This jam was not only decadent but rich with bacon love. (fat). If and when we ever return to Thistle Meats bacon jam and house made pickles will be in our shopping cart.