|Corrigan Times - Local News
Copyright 2013 - Polk County Publishing Company
Corrigan's own Chevy Cookers win big at Go Texan Cook-off
BY LEW VAIL
Clifton Chevrolet has been entering the Go Texan Cookoff competition at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo for the past 22 or 23 years, according to John Frank Clifton, who wears several hats under the title of Team Coordinator. That task covers making reservations for the spaces for the teams that cook. This year they asked for three spaces and were assigned only two. Try cramming two pits, 22 cooks, helpers, fi re tenders and kin into that small an area and you can see why they ask for additional space. The trailer they haul all the gear down to Houston in is usually used for hauling race cars and all the gear needed for that program that they sponsor. Sure cars and Chevrolet go together. John Frank (there is a John D. active and on the team also), showed me the pit one team used. It has baskets, full width, that are connected to a rotisserie device that assures that as meat cooks it is automatically basted. Of course, as with all great teams, one member is assigned to be a "swabber" whose job it is to mop on that secret sauce. I did not ask what it was made from since there had already been comments of "I'd have to shoot you if I told ya" when I asked about other cooking and recipe items. There were more than 400 teams this year in the cook-offs and 160 entered the dessert category. Clifton Cookers dessert was a Banana Foster Cake, now I don't have Mary Ann Clifton's special recipe, but I do know it contains, chopped pecans, butter, rum or (rum fl avoring), sugar and eggs, milk and probably sour cream, vanilla, fl our and of course bananas. The team brought the top prize home to Corrigan and with it the bragging rights for another year, and Mary Ann got a bouquet of roses. Along with the trophy, they also won fi rst place for the Cleanest Area. This is a very important win, teams are checked frequently during the show to be sure the public sees the best of the cook-off and a real bad area might not get invited back. They won runnerup for the "beauty" contest of the show for Most Colorful, also competing against all 400 teams. Aside from cooking and winning, teams serve their food to the general public, this year John Frank estimated they served right at 1,000 meals noon and evenings. They cooked some 250 pounds of chicken and pork ribs and nearly 500 pounds of brisket, all cooked to perfection. They had to arrive on Thursday evening and served dirty rice, fajitas and sausage wraps. On Friday at noon they served brisket, ribs, and beans. Friday night's fare was shrimp and crawfi sh etouffee and more brisket, ribs, sausage and beans. Saturday they repeated these two meals. Sunday is checking out time and the show wants everyone gone as soon as possible, so it is hectic. They had pre-delivered some equipment the Monday before but it all had to go so the animals could start moving in. They fi elded two teams and the head cooks were John D. Clifton and Pete Lopez. Others in the four-day event were: John F. Clifton, Cole Clifton, Mary Ann Clifton, Brenda Clifton, Clark Ogletree, Jaime Galloway, Sherry Lopez, Alex and Johnny Hernandez, Mike Pounders, Charles and Chuck Goodwin, Melvin Fifer, Don Dick, Jim and Theresa Schutze, Rob Pennington, Tommy McNichalas and Freida Houck. All play an important role in the success of these teams.