St. Stephen’s to host Memorial Day barbecue Monday

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church will hold its annual, open-to-the-public, Memorial Day BBQ before, during and after Ridgefield’s Memorial Day Parade this Monday. The church, located at 351 Main St., is a prime spot for parade watching.  All sales proceeds will help fund a week-long HOPE trip, when 14 teen volunteers will travel to Frederick, Maryland, on a home repair mission.

The BBQ menu will include hamburgers and hot dogs, fresh off the grill. The featured item will once again be artisanal, smoked pulled pork and beef brisket, prepared by parishioners Mark Blandford and Andy Cartwright.  Both cooks are grateful to Marshall Odeen, of Odeen’s BBQ, for lending them his professional smoker.

“We are excited to welcome Andy to the BBQ team,” said Mr. Blandford. “He cut his teeth in the BBQ joints around the Lake George area of New York State.”  Andy adds: “I built my first smoker out of an old maple tree stump when I was 13 and have been honing my craft ever since.”

Mr. Blandford says the secret ingredient in the brisket and pulled pork is the smoke. The meat is cooked at a steady slow pace for more than 12 hours.  “After last year’s rainout, we are eager to meet the pent-up demand for St. Stephen’s smoked pulled pork and brisket,” said Mr. Blandford. “And we are happy to be the main fundraiser for the HOPE trip