This was held in our parish church hall, was well organized and a lot of fun. Each entrant submitted 10 qts of their chili. These were then assigned a number, labeled as mild, medium or hot and put into aluminum pans, in racks, over warmers. A stack of small, pre-numbered cups were provided for each chili. Patrons paid $7 for adults, under 10 $5, under 5 free and entrants were free. There were 19 entrants. Everyone received a score sheet to keep track of the ones they liked, scaled 1-10, and 3 tickets. One voted for their three favorite chilis by placing the tickets in brown paper bags that were numbered 1-19. In addition, soft drinks, cider and coffee ere provided along with a munchoid table of salads, corn muffins, etc. People were allowed to bring their own beer or wine. There were also home made desserts for $1.00 and the Buffalo Bills – Minnesota Vikings game on a projection TV (Bills won – Hooray!
). It made for a fun afternoon with my family, as my son Tim flew in from Ft. Hood, TX and 3 of my other sons, their girl friends, and other family members all shared in the afternoon. A few years ago, Tim downloaded a chili recipe from some Chevy Camaro website (?) and since then it has become a hit in our family. My son, Andy, entered it in a chili cook-off when he was living in Florida a few years ago and won 3rd place. Andy again made this recipe for this cook-off. It calls for bacon, lots of ground beef, few beans, molasses and 3 types of peppers. My chili uses ground beef and pork, lots of tomatoes, beans, peppers, onions and celery. These are very different chilis – Andy’s hot, mine medium. However, neither one of us finished in the top 3. Apparently the majority of the people attending did not like hot chili, as all 3 winners were mild. My guess is that many people didn’t even try a hot one. It was interesting to taste the different chilis. It was similar to tasting wine. I quickly discovered that you can’t judge a chili by the first spoonful, as it takes the second spoonful for the flavors of that chili to develop in your mouth. Some had long finishes, some short. Some filled the entire palate with spiciness, while others were focused and some were bland. There was an interesting variety of chilis. I was very impressed by a veggie version. There was one made with turkey, another with chicken. One was dubbed “4-alarm”, but it was impossible to tell, as the jalapeno peppers were simply halved, thus leaving pieces so large that you couldn’t even fit one into the tasting cup. There was another dubbed “Cincinnati Style” with chopped onions and shredded cheddar on the side, but aside from that it didn’t seem to have any distinguishing features.
All in all, it was a fun afternoon of chili, family and football.