As you may have read in a previous post of my husband’s I have a super-villain name. Not only do I go by Kristen and mama, I also go by Hobbygoblin. This is because I have a super-human ability to pick a hobby, learn all about it, tear it up, wear it out, and move on to the next hobby.
One hobby I have yet to really jump into and enjoy is cooking. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fine with putting the evening meal on the table and making a batch of cookies now and then. I just don’t think that much about cooking. I’m not one to plan a meal down to beverage and serve it nightly to my family. I’m more of an “Oh crap! It’s 5 o’clock. What am I going to feed my family for dinner tonight?” kind of girl.
Now that it’s Christmas time more of my friends are hosting holiday get togethers. At one of these parties my friend has an annual chili cook-off. Usually I stay as far away from that as I can. I’m not a big chili fan. Alright, I like it on a good dog, say from Wienershnitzel’s or Sonic but that’s about as far as my relationship with chili has gone. Until now…
I don’t know why I decided to enter the chili cook-off, maybe Hobbygoblin was taking over. I have never in my enter life mad a batch of chili before. I didn’t think it would be too difficult especially now that we have this vast cookbook called the internet. I got started by typing in “award winning chili recipes” at google. It pulled up many entries and I started to sift through them.
Eventually I found one I thought would work. Some guy was publishing his “award winning” recipe from a chili cook-off in Colorado. It was a bean-less chili and the meat was not ground beef but a chopped up chuck roast. It sounded appealing to me for both of those reasons. After checking up on this guy and his “award winning” recipe I discovered that he came in 6th place in the chili cook-off. I wasn’t worried. I would still use this recipe. Come on, how many people in my neighborhood of suburbia Arizona are going to show up with a 5th place winning recipe?
I got started chopping and spicing, and spicing, and spicing. I had decided to double my recipe so that everyone at the party would be able to taste of its “award winning” goodness. It now called for A LOT of chili powder, 10 tablespoons I think. I was a little nervous about this but decided to follow the recipe. I learned as a young newlywed that when in doubt it is best to stick with what the recipe tells you to do.
When we got to the party I was assigned number 6 and my husband set our crockpot down in its proper place. Hhhmmm, mine looks very dark compared to the rest of the entries. Oh well, I think to myself, there’s nothing to be done about it. I might as well enjoy myself.
The party got under way and people started to dish up the chili and the other foods brought by guests. My husband and I got separated but met up later on during the party. Geoff told me that when the guy ahead of him in the chili line saw mine he said, “What is this? Barbecue sauce?”
Geoff replied, “No, it’s just a different kind of chili.”
The most common reaction to my chili that I saw during the night was quick waving in front of the consumer’s mouth and a grab for a drink. A few people really loved my chili and told me how good they thought it was. I think these were the people whose taste-buds are near death. The type of person you could put a burning ember on their tongue and they’d say, “It’s a little hot, but still delicious!”
Don’t feel too bad for me, I did have an award winning night. My friend handed out 4 Golden Ladles and I went home with one of them. Can you guess which award I got? You’re right! I won the spiciest chili award, or as I like to call it, “The Cook Who Couldn’t Control Themselves When It Came to Spices” award.
After all that my relationship with chili hasn’t really changed. A dog, a bun, some chili, and cheese and I’m good. Next year I’ll bring the cornbread.
Anybody have some award winning recipes for me?