On my Fortieth Birthday I threw myself a huge pool party in the backyard of my In-Laws house.
Everyone we knew was invited.
College buddies, work buddies, family and all the kids. The place was hopping.
One thing I wanted to do was to give the adults something to participate in besides watching their kids in the pool and the yard just wasn't big enough for a wiffle ball game.
I did what I knew best, I hosted a BBQ Sauce contest. The winner got a full set of engraved BBQ tools, second place got a monogrammed BBQ apron and third place got a mitt and towel set.
Since I am a theme party planner, I choose Kansas City BBQ for the food and the drink. The Nudge scouted two barrels, had them cut in half, made a grill top to fit each one and his college buddy who was a caterer, gave a gift of 80 pounds of ribs. We also had hamburgers, smoked redfish, corn, potatoes, chicken, pork shoulder and, if I remember correctly, a bucket of BBQ'd shrimp.
It was wonderful. We had three judges and they took their job seriously. They tasted each one, eating a piece of bread after each and then ate a rib with the sauce.
My sauce came in second place, I still have the apron and use it all the time. Everyone cried fix, because my mom was a judge but the sauces were not labeled and the bowls were all identical, so no one, even us, knew who's was who's. We had about 10 entries, which I thought was a good turnout. When the judging was completed, everyone could try them on their food.
This was the 2nd place winning sauce.
makes about 2 cups
* 2 tbsp. butter
* 1/2 cup minced onion
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 3/4 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
* 1/2 cup whiskey
* 1/2 cup ketchup
* 1/2 cup brown sugar
* 1/4 cup cider vinegar
* 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
* 1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
* 1 teaspoon smoked Hawaiian sea salt
* 1 teaspoon pepper
1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes. Remove cover and increase heat. Cook for 5 minutes more to thicken slightly.