Third Annual Catfish Stew Cook-Off

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THIRD ANNUAL CATFISH STEW COOK-OFF ANSON COUNTY

The Town of Lilesville, NC hosted their 3rd Annual Catfish Stew Cook-Off on March 16, 2013 at the Hatcher Park with a good turn out.  The wind was very brisk and unmerciful on some of the vendor's wares but everyone adapted and improvised with painters blue tape, Scotch tape and of course the All-American Duck Tape to keep their tablecloths and displays from taking flight!  The temperature was on the mild side early in the morning with the sky very overcast and cloudy but turned into a wonderful and beautiful Carolina blue sky with the temperature reaching around 78 degrees by 2:30 PM.

There were six entries in the catfish stew cook-off with four making a red or tomato base and two entries with the white or milk base.  Without any real effort,  I got around to sampling about all the catfish stews and one entry had enough Texas Pete incorporated and/or jalapeno pepper to be a hazard to the local Forestry Service since it would about self combust without any oxygen present.  I certainly hope our home fire alarm doesn't sound off in the morning.....grin if you must!  

To reiterate what I said about the Hatcher Park last year, my hat is off to the Town of Lilesville's maintenance staff for doing such an outstanding job keeping the park well maintained in top notch shape.   I will post pictures and a few narrative type comments along the way:

  

I never get tired of looking at our National flag "Ole Glory" proudly moving to the rhythm of the wind.  Our freedom has come at a great sacrifice to many in order for You and I to have this privilege of which many millions throughout the World cannot enjoy.

While mingling about the park, I met Ms. Juanita Williams who worked for the Town of Lilesville as Town Clerk and Finance Director for 43 years, now retired and had a great chat with her.  Pix of Ms. Williams below:

Teresa Burr getting set-up to start cooking a milk or white base catfish stew.

Virginia McCoy of Morven, NC getting setting started with a Red or Tomato base catfish stew.  My bad on the pix and shadows.

John Hyatt of Burnsville, NC is preparing a Red or Tomato base catfish stew this year using a different recipe.

Randy "Flash" Ussery and Mitchell Grant of Rockingham, NC near Cordova who call themselves The Wolf Pit Boys.  Had a good time talking with them and found out why Flash was a nickname and apparently named so because he really could not run that fast in school and his coach called him that and it stuck with him over the decades....grin if you must!  They are also cooking a Red or Tomato base catfish stew.

Tommy Jarmon of Wadesboro with his side kick Dennis Cloud getting ready to start a Red or Tomato base catfish stew.

Ben Smith far right in pix of Lilesville, NC with his support team getting their propane burner going for a Red or Tomato base catfish stew.  Ben was the overall Catfish Stew Champion the past two years and a tough contender.

Curtis Carpenter frying out some fatback and he had a tough time getting his propane burner going.  Seems like the dirt dobbers had built a nest in there and restricted the air and gas flow yielding zero heat but he got it fixed.  Curtis is doing a White or Milk based catfish stew.

There were a number of vendors present selling all types of jewelry, hand bags, custom wreaths, funnel cakes, hot dogs, pop corn, etc. and the Town of Lilesville selling the Catfish stew logo Tee shirts to celebrate the event and were moving a good quantity of them as evidenced by the number of people wearing them....pix below:

I did get a good grin or two as someone asked me what the colored wrist band that I had on was for and I told them that I was home from Dorothy Dix Mental Hospital for the weekend and this was my first stop........pix below:  I did correct my response after I had a good grin by telling them "once you purchased a bowl and spoon, you could go back and get as many bowls as you needed to sample all the catfish stew entries and the wrist band was your pass".......Grin again:

The following pixs of school kids that received awards, trophies, etc. and I will get a detailed update as soon as possible:

Click on below thumbnail pixs for a larger view of the various vendors and activities going on:

 WINNERS 2013 THIRD ANNUAL CATFISH STEW COOK-OFF

The Red or Tomato base catfish stew winner:  $ 25.00 to The Wolf Pit Boys aka Randy "Flash" Ussery and Mitchell Grant, Rockingham, NC (Cordova area).

The White or Milk catfish base stew winners (Tie):  $ 25.00 to Teresa Burr and Curtis Carpenter, Lilesville, NC

Second place Overall winner:  $ 100.00 to The Wolf Pit Boys aka Randy "Flash" Ussery and Mitchell Grant, Rockingham, NC.

First place Overall winner:  $ 250.00 to Ben Smith of Lilesville, NC. 

NOTE:  Ben Smith has won the Overall Catfish Cook-Off competition three years in a row.  Mayor Richard Harrington of Lilesville, NC presented the cash awards.

IN SUMMATION:   This was a fantastic outing and met one of my Blewett Falls, Pee Dee River buddies from the 1980s, John Richard Allen, WHS Class of 1963 of whom I had not seen since then and as always, "Two Of The Greatest Ships That Ever Sailed, "Friendship and Fellowship" of which today's catfish stew cook-off manifested that theme in excellent fashion.

A special thank you to the Mayor and Employees of the Town of Lilesville, NC for hosting such a wonderful family orientated and fun event and certainly looking forward to next year's Catfish Stew Cook-Off, the Lord willing.

God Bless!

Web published by Bill aka Mickey Porter 03-16-13.

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