A few weeks ago I received an e-mail from a friend about a girl named Amanda Field. I usually delete e-mails of this nature but something about this e-mail set forth a chain of events that I will never forget for the rest of my life. I had never met Amanda, however the e-mail I read reminded me of my own family and how precious life truly is. Amanda is a working mother with a young son who just found out that she's going to have to have a liver transplant. Due to factors beyond her control Amanda's insurance company is requiring her to pay $215,500.00 up front to be put on the transplant list to receive a new liver. This really angered me, so much so that I brought this to the attention of our newly chartered Midland North Rotary Club. I am somewhat new to Rotary and was nominated to serve as Vice President of our club this year and thought some how, some way, we needed to help her raise money to give this young mother and her family a chance to have a normal life together.
I proposed a BBQ fundraiser to our club and they graciously accepted. I have never done this before but I know that when were blessed with certain talents they can be put into motion when we least expect them to. I sent out a few e-mails to my contact list and before I knew it we had orders for 13 briskets and 12 racks of ribs. I volunteered our home as our station and the weekend of Nov 9th myself, and two other people from our club began the difficult task of cooking our first batch of BBQ. We did this on two pits for 48 hours straight. We also slotted the weekend of the 2oth to try and get more orders. The first cook was a lot of work. I was not prepared though for what lied ahead.
This past weekend I have cooked more BBQ in three days than I have in the past two years. I was not prepared for this but we wound up cooking this go round 38 briskets and 40 racks of ribs. We did this on three pits with the help of two volunteers up through Sunday afternoon and then had 5 more people come out to help. So far by doing this we have raised $6,300.00 for Amanda. Were donating the cost of the food from our club and 100% of the proceeds are being put into a special account for Amanda and her medical needs.
I am not sure how to explain how this feel's however I'm going to be honest in saying that I have a whole new respect for folk's who do this full time. It was extremely difficult to not want to take each individual rack of ribs and each individual brisket and to trim them like I would for a competition. We pulled membranes on ribs and trimmed some on briskets but not to the extent that I'd like to have done. Cooking barbecue for the masses is a lot different than you might think. First because you have so much difference in weight on briskets when buying by the case and second because you know in the back of your mind that you'd like to do a lot more to that brisket/rack of ribs than your actually getting to do with it. I don't like cutting corners but sometimes you have to do what's required of the situation when your up against time and cold weather conditions.
This will be an unforgettable experience. I was very happy to do it but there's something about cooking that just feel's different now. I'm not sure what it is, but the urge to open up my restaurant isn't what it used to be. I have set some more goal's for next year that I'd like to achieve and will hopefully keep building upon my experiences with barbecue and the friends I've made from it in the years to come. I've probably come to the realization that it's not really the barbecue itself that I like so much it's just the great things that happens every time I get around it. I think that's why it will always be a part of me.