Catfish Stew Cookoff

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ANSON COUNTY CATFISH STEW COOK-OFF

A catfish stew cook-off was held at the Hatcher Park in Lilesville, NC on March 10, 2012 beginning at 10:00 with 250 dollar prizes given in the red or tomato base stew,  white or milk base stew and an Overall prize.

I woke up this morning to a Mockingbird singing and after a shave and shower prepared a breakfast for my bride of 44 years and myself consisting of white peppered gravy,  Mary Bee's Tee biscuits, bacon and scrambled eggs served with black coffee.

At about 1015 I headed toward Lilesville to check out what was going on with the main objective to get a sample of all the different
catfish stews.  It has been several years since I made a catfish stew and certainly looked forward to this event with much anticipation.   For 5 dollars you were given a bowl and the opportunity to get a bowl from each entry in the cook-off.  Several vendor tables were set-up offering  very attractive Tee-shirts to commemorate the event, an assortment of food, drink and snacks.

I went around to each tent that was set up and gathered some information on each entry and took pictures.  If memory is correct, the following entered the cook-off; John Hyatt of Burnsville, Tommy Jarmon of Wadesboro, Virginia McCoy of Morven, Will Morrison, Maynard Dutton, Jr., Charlotte and Ben Smith of Lilesville.  However, once the stews were ready, the camera had to go back into my pocket since I had more important things to do like devouring some catfish stew!  It is hard to operate a camera and "shovel" down that "beautimous" catfish stew unless you have an extra hand or two.  Several of the stews were spiced hot enough to about self ignite and could easily replace the military's WWII stock pile of  napalm but that didn't slow myself or others down in the least bit. 

This was a fantastic event with a Carolina Blue Sky with the wind a little brisk at times and the long sleeve shirt and light jacket worn felt mighty good.  I was very impressed with what the Hatcher Park has to offer...see pixs below.

After sampling a bowl from each of the six or seven entries,  I was "Tight as a Georgia tick on the back of a coonhound in the month of July", grin if you must.

It was around 2:30ish  when the judging was completed and Tommy Jarmon won for the white or milk base style catfish stew and Virginia McCoy won for the red or tomato base style catfish stew.  Overall catfish stew prize  went to Ben Smith of Lilesville.  I did some personal judging of my own and my favorite did not win but that is why we are all different.

I met some friends from way back and made some new friends while there and had a wonderful and great time. The food and fellowship were outstanding and as I have said many, many times,  "Two of the greatest ships that ever sailed,  Friendship and Fellowship."

One of the entrances to the park.

"Old Glory" and our State flag getting a little workout from the breeze with  "Old Glory" displaying her majestic beauty reminds me that our Freedom comes with a heavy toll of which many, many thousands and tens of thousands have given the ultimate sacrifice of their lives to preserve our Freedom;  IN GOD WE TRUST AND GOD BLESS AMERICA!   E PLURIBUS UNUM.

Click on the below thumbnail pixs for a larger screen view:

The winners below receiving their prize money and certificates:

Ms. Virginia McCoy of Morven, NC receiving her first place for the Red tomato base catfish stew.

Tommy Jarmon of Wadesboro, NC won first place for the white or milk base catfish stew.  He was moving faster than I could get the little digital camera focused on him!

Ben Smith of Lilesville winning the Overall catfish stew prize money!  Both Ben Smith and Tommy Jarmon are former winners also.

Pictures taken and web posted by Bill aka Mickey Porter on March 10, 2012.

NOTE:  Above short story published in Anson County's The Express Vol. 22, Issue No. 40 on March 21. 2012 www.theexpressnewspaper.com

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