Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Burgoo Ride!

The Fourth of July fell on a Wednesday this year. It was a little odd having a holiday right in the middle of the work week, but you don't hear me complaining. A tradition in the Springfield Bike Club is a ride to Franklin, Illinois for that community's annual Burgoo Festival. Since the forecast called for 100 degrees, we decided to go out early and hopefully beat the worst of the heat. At 6:30 a.m. it was 80 degrees, if that gives you any idea what a lovely day lay before us.

What is burgoo, you may ask? Wikipedia defines burgoo as "a spicy stew" usually served with corn bread. There are many regional variations, but the common theme is that there are at least three ingredients --- a vegetable and then various types of meat. The dish served at the Franklin festival is a tame beef/chicken stew (here is the recipe and some info), but I have heard about the use of opossum, raccoon, deer, etc. I do know that the burgoo is cooked in large kettles and stirred for hours by volunteers.

Naturally there were a lot of jokes about picking up roadkill along the way and contributing to the cookoff, none of which I found particularly funny. It was about 25 miles to Franklin. I had prepared for the scorching temperatures by putting a polar bottle of water and another bottle of Ironman Perform in the freezer for about 45 minutes, which kept things nice and cool.

Sadly, because we had set out so early, the actual festival wasn't even open when we arrived in Franklin. My road bike was making some unhappy gear chattering, so The Other SteveS (not to be confused with my SteveS) performed some experimentation on the little barrel ajduster. We rode up and down the street for a while and got the bike shifting better, if not optimal. At least I had more than three gears.

We looked around for a place to refill water bottles and a nice lady directed us to the basement of the nearby Methodist Church, which seemed to be the vortex to the Burgoo Fest. A friendly crew of volunteer ladies and one man not only let us refill our bottles with ice, but sold us some pie. We were the first customers of the day.

Riding back, we started passing the bike club riders who had started later. They were in for a hot ride, I was sure glad we got out early.

Cooling off in the basement of the Methodist Church in
Franklin. Before us are the jugs of burgoo
that will be sold later. L-R Jerome, the Other SteveS,  Mark, me

Getting ready to head out of Franklin. 

The Other SteveS enjoying some apple pie

SteveS tries out the peach pie with some ice cream

I tried gooseberry pie. They tried to warn me that it was tart.
I didn't necessarily find it  to be sour and enjoyed it.
Would definitely order it again. Reminded me of rhubarb pie.

Peach pie, mmmmm

The burgoo, cooling in jugs. It smelled like beef stew. 

Mark holds up a jug of burgoo. We didn't get to
try it but that's ok, when it 's pushing 100 degrees,
hot stew doesn't sound too appealing.

The super nice volunteer crew in the
basement of the Methodist Church dishing up ice and pie for us.


Ransick said...

Sounds like a fantastic ride!

Kate Geisen said...

Now I want pie! :)

Midwest Miler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Midwest Miler said...

Pie is a great way to refuel during a ride.