Monday, May 16, 2011

He thinks my rototiller's sexy

Today, Jeff and I spent the day preparing the family garden for our planting day. It was going to be my first lesson in using the "big" rototiller. My dad thought I should have the guys do all the tilling.... but if you know me then you will know that when I set my mind to doing something there is no stopping me...So, Jeff patiently explained the gears and taught me all the ins and outs of operating the beast. I had a procedure down in no time and actually thought it was quite fun. Every once in a while, Jeff would stop raking to watch how I was doing and give me a grin and a thumbs up. When he would give me "the look" I had to laugh to myself because I could only think of that country song called "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy."

Many of you already know that Jeff and I were high school sweethearts. We both graduated from Coeur d' Alene High School in 1983...Initially, Jeff was forced to quit school to keep his full-time kitchen job at "The Other Place" so he was in his senior year and I was a junior. He later came back to CHS during my senior year to get his diploma and that's when we first met. From the beginning I could tell we were meant to be together. He was definitely trouble..but that's what appealed to me...that and his big teddy bear heart.  : )

We were actually just friends first....and we skipped many a class together to go to Denny's (for nasty, watered-down coffee and french fries smothered in tarter sauce.) Although, my mom kept insisting "that boy has a thing for you". Turns out that mom was right because shortly after graduation, our friendship quickly turned into a serious relationship and we were married on May 25th 1985. Within 2 years we were proud parents of two beautiful little girls, Brittany and Tylah, and a few years later we were blessed with our baby boy, Dustin. On our ten year anniversary, Meghan Sue, our fourth child was born. This May 25th will be her Sweet Sixteen birthday and our 26th Anniversary.

26 years seems like a long time but it sure flew by fast...I am extremely blessed to have a wonderful husband and awesome's really all the little things we do to support one another that has really made our relationship strong. It's the simple things like him helping me in the garden or me helping him with a big barbecue gig. Our love is strong because we support each other in all our endeavors. Plus, after all these years, he still thinks my rototiller is sexy!  : )

Monday, May 9, 2011

Bent's BBQ is Born

Well, it's not a sure thing yet, but I am working on deal to serve the best BBQ you've ever eaten on Saturday nights at a new brewery in Wallace, Idaho starting in June. So, it's about time I get licensed and insured to make this thing happen. I got my business registered today and I will be permitted and insured by sometime next week ...

As some of you know, the Bent family started a competitive BBQ team last year called Rub 'em Raw BBQ, and the whole BBQ thing unexpectedly took off like a wildfire. We started out winning grand champion at our first professional competition, while cooking the traditional four meats: beef brisket, pork butt, pork ribs and chicken. From there we won at least one category at every event we competed in last year.

This year is looking pretty good too, as I just won grand champion at Tim's Rib King competition on April 30th, where I placed first in spare ribs, second in pork belly and third in ribeye steak. the rest of the people cooking under our canopy won as well. Steve Everett tied for second place ribeye, and Denise Durflinger, a first time competitor mentored by Rub em Raw, took first place ribeye, and second place spare ribs. That is all three of us cutting up our steak entries in the picture above. (note: with the exception of a tie score for second, we swept the steak category using the Rub 'em Raw BBQ steak method, and we nearly swept the ribs category).  Below are pictures of the rib turn in and the pork belly turn in.
Above is myself, Denise and her husband slicing ribs for turn-in

This is my pork belly, and Steve is in the left of the frame slicing his

Anyway, back to the brewery in Wallace... It's called North Idaho Mountain Brewing Company... They are in the process of building a brewing pub, but they have no kitchen at the moment, so of course my rustic BBQ skills will come in handy up there...

I am talking with the owners about providing food service for them on Saturdays and possibly Sunday lunch at least through the summer months and we'll see how things go from there. I am in the process of developing a menu and a formal proposal now and I will post the latest as it progresses here... Rub 'em Raw is a great competition name, but I decided to tame my food service name to Bent's BBQ...

Oh, and you can be sure I'll be watching that commercial brewery process ... I can always amend the name to Bent's BBQ and Brew House later...