TERRE HAUTE —
Ten-year-old Zoee Huxford flipped chicken legs on a charcoal grill while her father, Brian Huxford, applied a “secret” barbecue sauce over the meat Friday during the 4-H BBQ Contest at the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds.
The father/daughter team donned cowboy hats as part of their “country barbecue 0 ” theme.
“We have super sauce chicken, our own secret recipe, and we have pork ribs,” Zoee said. “For the ribs, we laid out [aluminum] foil and covered it in oil and minced garlic, then put the ribs on the grill and covered it again,” she said.
“For the chicken, we put in Worcestershire sauce …,” she said as she began listing ingredients before her father interjected, saying, “We can’t give away the secret!”
Zoee is a second year 4-H member.
It was the first time for the two to participate in the contest.
“I think, not just the barbecue, but 4-H in general exposes kids to animals and life and she does artwork and this year she learned how to use a sewing machine to make a pillow,” Brian said. “It puts you in great company of great people and is good family fun.”
Nearby, Don Peters and his 9-year-old daughter, Gracee Peters, were busy grilling Hawaiian pineapple chicken with grilled portabella garlic mushrooms.
“It is what she likes. She made the marinade and marinated the chicken,” Don said.
“We used soy sauce, pineapple juice, ginger and dry mustard,” in the marinade, said Gracee, also a two-year 4-H member. “I like this as I get to cook on the grill. That is fun.”
Mary Ann Sedletzeck, 4-H leader for the contest, said 4-H contestants are placed into three categories — grades 3 to 5 as beginner class; grades 6 to 8 as intermediate class and grades 8 to 12 as advanced class — as well as an open class, showmanship category and mini 4-H.
Grillers use a theme to decorate where they grill, such as a Mexican fiesta, a hunting theme, a gourmet picnic theme or a country BBQ. “They are judged on the theme and costumes and how the food goes with their theme,” Sedletzeck said.
Judges also consider the food, said Ty Burks, a 4-H judge who is a past grand champion in the contest. “We judge on the smell, the look and the taste,” he said. “Also the presentation and showmanship.”
Contestants had two hours to set up their theme area and get their food cooked. Samples were then placed out for the public to try.
“It is a social event,” Sedletzeck said.
Huxford won the beginner class and showmanship award. Other winners were Morgan Bacon, intermediate class; William Warner, advanced class and people’s choice award; Lori Morris in open class; and Maylee Brown in mini 4-H.
In addition, this year marked the second time the showmanship award was given in honor of Vincent Pugh, a 4-H member who died two years ago from a heart condition at age 14. His parents Frank and Gwendolyn Pugh, now of Rockport, said their son “loved to cook and was a grand champion of the barbecue.”
Howard Greninger can be reached at (812) 231-4204 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
n 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. — 4-H/Open Class Exhibits Open
n 11 a.m. — 4-H Lawn & Garden Tractor Driving Contest
n Noon-9 p.m. — Commercial Exhibits Open
n Noon — Arm Wrestling Contest on the Rick’s Smokehouse and Pepsi Free Stage
n 1 p.m. — 4-H Rocket Launch
n 3 p.m. — 4-H Parade
n 5-5:45 p.m. — 4-H Achievement Night Check in Show Arena
n 5 p.m. — Carnival by Drew Exposition-Unlimited Rides $18
n 6 p.m. — 4-H Achievement Night Show Arena
n 7 p.m. — Demolition Derby presented by Frontier (Grandstand Event) Tickets-$10 Adults $8 Children 12 and under
n 8:30 p.m. — 4-H Livestock and Commercial Exhibits Released