I genuinely am not a competitive person. I just don’t take a whole lot of pride in things. I go at my own pace. If something does something better… it’s probably because they practice. The presence of a woman I’m trying to impress can put that virtue in me, but this sense of “I have to be the better man” is not innate.
In general, I believe I do many things decently, but nothing super well. Cooking is a terrific example of this. I do cook. I enjoy cooking. On a scale of my favourite things, I put it up there with sex and organizing. However, I’m far from the best cook. And for a long time, I’ve said the only things I cook really well are honey maple ribs and pulled pork.
With this in mind, I received the following Facebook message from a certain Chris Rankin recently:
“I hereby challenge you to a pulled pork-off. Name the time, place and judges. Any time, any place where I can spend many hrs near a slow & low heat source, and the Paramount Gang as judges. You have until 5pm today to decide the time, place and judges. We will then formulate rules in which this pulled pork-off will abide by. Good day, Sir.”
I was curiously amused by the notion. I had nothing to really lose, but too often I feel unchallenged and facing one so blatant… it was nice. I showered, put on the first costume I thought of, wrote a first and only draft of a speech, and recorded it.
This was the birth of The Pulled Pork Challenge – Who’s Going to Pull It Off? Within the next few hours we goaded each other, created a Facebook event, and developed a set of rules, which included:
- The pulled pork must be accompanied with a homemade barbecue sauce.
- The pulled pork must be accompanied with a side of homemade slaw.
- The pork cut must be a traditional and ordinary cut. Acceptable cuts are shoulder (aka Boston Butt), picnic or mixed roast cuts. All are most affordable and common cuts used for pulled pork.
- The pork must be cooked using an oven or a slow cooker. No barbecue.
- The two dishes will be judged during a blind taste test. Further consumption can be accompanied by seeing.
- The winner of the challenge must purchase one mini keg of beer for the loser.
Also within the next 24 hours, he responded with his own, more subtle, video:
I responded in kind:
Then he commented:
“I may not have the showmanship of deViller, but I am a force. I’m doing this for the working man. I’m just a regular guy with a pulled pork dream. And I want to invite you all to this dream. Even you, Jeff. Even you.”
And for some reason, I responded with this;
I have no idea why. I’ve come to a place, where if I feel inspired to do something creative, I do it.
So this weekend is the competition. We will see who has the better pulled pork. And for the first time, me – Mr. No Pride, Non-competitive Jeff is competing… not for a girl… but for myself and the supremacy of my pulled pork.
So, in the end, the competition was postponed. Chris was too busy with work and we decided it was best that we had equal amounts of time.
If you’re curious, my pulled pork is basically a tweeked version of this one: http://homecooking.about.com/od/porkrecipes/r/blpork86.htm