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SmokinRach
10-03-2008, 11:40 PM
I guess maybe I should first introduce myself. :-P I am RBinMS33's wife.

There is a competition in Holly Springs, MS that we are entering with our buddy. Well, I'm doing the boxes and I want them to be PERFECT.

This will be our first KCBS competition as "Perfect Smoke" and although I got some great advice from Kim from "Smoke on Wheels" I would still like some help.

Doing a test run, we bought 5 bunches of parsley. I cut a small portion off the roots and placed them in cold ice water. I noticed that one bunch was a little limp at the beginning. Here it is several hours later and that one bunch is still limp. Is there anyway I can spruce it up? Or do I just consider it a bad bunch?

Also, how many boxes should I make up the night before? Considering we are entering 4 categories, I don't think I should just make up 4 boxes in case something goes wrong but, how many is enough?

Any help would be appreciated!

Rach :-D
aka SmokinRach
"Perfect Smoke"

Professor Salt
10-04-2008, 12:04 AM
Assuming this is a KCBS contest? You'll be given 4 turn in boxes at the cook's meeting on Friday evening. They'll each have your team number written on them, and the judges will expect those boxes, not ones you provide. So to answer your question, four boxes is enough.

Have a safe place to store the empty boxes, where wind, dust, and your own cooking mess won't get them. Make sure your team knows where you stashed them.

Sprucing up the parsley in cold water is a good idea, and ditch the ones that stay limp. Drain them of all water. I gently roll mine in a dish towel to remove as much water as possible.

If the weather's mild and your parsley's not going to wither overnight, I think making boxes during the night is a good idea. Otherwise, I say garnish all four boxes during the early morning lull. Then keep them stored someplace like inside a dry cooler.

SmokinRach
10-04-2008, 12:20 AM
I had a brain fart. Of course you are only given 4 boxes. I planned on storing them in a cooler that had ice in the bottom.

You answered my question on the limp parsley though. I guess there is no way to bring it back to life. It's dead. I guess I need to go pick it out next time. LOL

If I want to do a full parsley box, approximately how many bunches of parsley will I need per box to make a nice full green?

I was estimating 5. Is that high or low?

Brauma
10-04-2008, 02:29 AM
Parsley is cheap. Buy at least 5 bunches. You'll find that you pick through what you have and still have a lot left over.

Bring small, sharp scissors and tweezers to the comp. You'll figure it out.

Doing the boxes is the biggest pain for me at the comps. They say that judges arent supposed to score down for the garnish and that garnish is optional. But if thats the case why do teams go to such great lengths to make the garnish perfect?

Its all in eye appeal. When the table captain opens that box, you want your entry to look perfect and delicious.

swamprb
10-04-2008, 03:52 AM
I usually buy more parsley than I need, but I only use it for 3 boxes, I do my pork over lettuce, so 5 is about right. I usually buy it on Friday before the comp and keep it cool, in a covered produce box with gel ice paks. If its really hot out, I keep them in styrofoam Omaha Steak boxes that double as my hot holding box on turn in day. I do my boxes the night before and lay a damp paper towel over the bed and close the clam shell, I've had no problem with them drying out.

Ron_L
10-04-2008, 08:24 AM
Hi Rach! Welcome! Head on over to Cattle Call and introduce yourself to everyone!

We usually buy between 6 and 8 bunches of parsley depending on how big the bunches are. My wife washed it all thoroughly at home on Thursday night to get any sand and grit out of it and then we get rid of any obviously wilted or yellowed pieces. Then we keep it in those green produce bags that they advertise on TV and put it in a separate cooler.Don't let the parsley sit on the ice directly. Put a layer of paper towels of newspaper between the parsley and the ice so the parsley doesn't get damaged by contact with the ice. We build our boxes on Friday night and put a damp paper towel in the box and put them back in the cooler and even on the hottest days they look fine on Saturday.

Good luck! and have fun!

Ford
10-04-2008, 09:25 AM
I buy 14 bunches to do 4 boxes. Sometimes I have 2 left over sometimes I have 5 left. Parsley costs about $1.00 per bunch or less so extra is good.

Practice at home on a few boxes.

I make mine the night before. I have a fridge now so it's easy but before the fridge I just used a cooler with some ice in the bottom. Put a damp piece of paper towel over the parsley before closing the box.

Brew-B-Q
10-04-2008, 10:01 AM
I have been making my parsley boxes the night before, covering with a damp paper towel, and placing on ice in a cooler. Seems to work OK. I know I need to spend more time on the evenness of the boxes, and that is a point of emphasis for my next comp.

I have a question regarding the ice water bath to shock the parsley. If you do this at, say 5 pm on Friday, will it be effective and hold through the night? Or, is shocking something best done if you are prepping your boxes in the morning? Lastly, how long should the parsley be in the ice water? Does shocking make a big difference? I have not tried it yet.

Thanks

The Anchorman
10-04-2008, 11:57 AM
I buy 14 bunches to do 4 boxes. Sometimes I have 2 left over sometimes I have 5 left. Parsley costs about $1.00 per bunch or less so extra is good.

.

Really 14, just how long does this take you???
Seems like an awful amount of time just for the box.
What ever happened to the nice lettuce box with a parsley addition?

Ford
10-04-2008, 02:02 PM
Really 14, just how long does this take you???
Seems like an awful amount of time just for the box.
What ever happened to the nice lettuce box with a parsley addition?
Hi Ray

Takes about 30 minutes give or take talking with folks that drop by. So Friday night I usually spend at least 2 hours doing boxes instead of drinking and socializing. Hate it. The only time I wish I had 3 helpers. But I think it has improved my scores.