Originally Posted by cgwaite
Ok, these may be noob questions for this area, but I need some advice on garnish for my first Rib competition, coming up this Friday. I am not expecting to have a top-of-the-line box, but I do want to create something that I won't be embarrassed to share with the Brethren. After all, you have provided me with many examples of great turn-in boxes. How could I ignore that information?
My mission is to build a simple, basic garnish bed for my Ribs. My plan is to mainly use lettuce leafs, with maybe a bit of parsley to help out, if needed. My first question is there a specific type of lettuce that is easy (or easier) to work with and produces good results? My initial thoughts were something along the lines of Romaine leaves. I am not that well versed in different varieties of lettuce, so let me know if I am missing the mark here.
Second, how much time do you normally spend on preparing your turn-in boxes? I know that the "putting green" boxes will take a lot of time, but want to get an estimate as to how much time I should focus on this portion of the contest.
Again, many thanks for all your comments, suggestions and warnings. They have already saved me years of "hard-knock" learning experiences. I am sure I will have my share of those, too. But out of the gate, you have prepared me well to face the challenge. All I have to do now is perform.
If you really don't want to do putting greens, and if you are only turning in one box of ribs I think you should, I would suggest fresh, crisp green leaf lettuce. Place the end that was connected to the root in the center of the box, extending the wavy end towards the edges of the box. Go around the box this way overlapping pieces of lettuce until you have a nice bed to place your succulent pieces of ribs upon.
Even with this method will take ou at least fifteen, twenty minutes to do it right. What you want to prevent in your box is it looking like you just threw the greens in there, and that takes time. My wife does our putting greens, so I cannot say for sure, but I would imagine she spends thirty minutes per box to intially put it together. We take all our meats out of the cooker/cambro 15 minutes before dead-on and use all that time to make our final preparations for turn-ins.
For our first competition last year, the Nevada Kiwanis State Championship, we used green leaf lettuce and did well on presentation. On our website you can see pictures of our turn-ins if you have your heart set on a lettuce presentation.
I hope this helps!