It's that time of year again, the Sault Ste. Marie chapter of the United Way Annual Chili Cookoff.
I've never won anything, but have been told by many in the crowd that I had the best in the place. Typically, the winner is someone like Girl Scouts, or Fire Station, or Boys and Girls Club. The winning recipe is always very soupy and bland. I don't stand a chance. But, I have have repeat tasters who have traveled from as far away as Grand Rapids Michigan (about a 4 hour drive) who came up because he wanted to again have more of my chili (he'd had some the year before). I also had a judge who had participated in big chili events in the SW U.S. tell me that my chili was the best in the place and that the judges in my little town are all crazy people who know nothing about chili.
What I love about participating in this event is that the crowd loves my chili and they keep coming back for 2nds and third helpings. I always make 6 gallons compared to most competitors 3 gallons (the minimum required amount) and have none left over. Many of the others can't say the same. That builds my ego, and yes I admit, it feels good to have one's ego stroked every now and again. It also gives me the chance to try new techniques and flavors, which I do every year. It's a blast watching people go nuts over your preperation. This year, there were no green tomatoes availabel for the white chili, so I'm going to have to be creative. I'll let you know how it turns out. I'll be making my mother's recipe of red (which I've never done before, actually, my youngest sister is making that batch), while I make the white chili, 3 gallons of each. I'll be cooking tonight and serving it up tomorrow. If anyone is in the Eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan who sees this post, the cookoff starts at 4 p.m. tomorrow, the 11th, in Sault Ste. Marie, at the Pular Stadium. It would be such a hoot to meet someone from DC there. But I know that the chances are very slim. If anyone does amke it, I'll be the Farmer's Market team. In any case, I'll be having a whale of a good time tomorrow. Besides, I took a vacation day to do this, which means I won't be at work.
It's gonna be a very good day.
Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North