It’s Getting a Little Chili in Here

December 11, 2005    By: Kristen J @ 10:45 am   Category: Life

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?


  1. Ever try Denison’s? Only requires a can opener! JK:)

    Comment by Paige — December 11, 2005 @ 11:10 am

  2. I hate to cook, and I’m not fond of chilli. Our ward had a chilli cook-off dinner recently, though, and there were some good chilli recipes on that table. I think the one I really liked must’ve had some sugar in it. I’m diabetic, and whenever I have something and think “wow this is really good!” I know it has sugar in it.

    Comment by Susan M — December 11, 2005 @ 11:40 am

  3. Don’t feel too bad. I’ve entered two ward chili cook-offs — two different wards, two different recipes (both mine though). I’ve always considered church members in general to have a very low tolerance for spices so both time I cut my normal level of spiceyness in about 1/3, just to make sure I didn’t smoke anyone out.

    I went home from both cook-offs with an award — hottest chili.

    Maybe I should stick to bringing cornbread too.

    Comment by Pat Eyler — December 11, 2005 @ 1:14 pm

  4. My husband loves the Carl Shelby’s. It’s pre-mixed a spice packet, it comes in a fancy little brown bag, from the grocery store, in the sauce mixes.

    The package only calls for onion (I think) and hamburger. But I usually add all kinds of veggies (whatever is on hand), several kinds of beans (we’re big bean fans round these parts) and I often skip the hamburger (the dh likes it, I could do without). But the mixture of spices is really tasty, IMO, and super duper easy.

    Which may not appease the hobbygoblin, come to think of it.

    Comment by fMhLisa — December 11, 2005 @ 3:42 pm

  5. Actually a large part of me wanted to just buy that new Bush’s chili and throw it in a pot. I really have very little interest in chili. I guess I didn’t feel that I could honestly accept any awards though. I was kind of worried about what I would do if someone asked me for the recipe. Huh, now that I think about it no one asked for my chili recipe!

    Hey, I just found out my next door neighbors are moving. It’s a nice house if anyone’s interested…anyone from Escondido…or where ever.

    Comment by Kristen J — December 11, 2005 @ 5:12 pm

  6. I’m with you Kristen, I’m totally not a chili fan. Give me a baked potato or a hot dog with a bun and I’ll eat it, but rarely any other way. Congrats on your award though!

    Oh and every time I mention to my mom that we are going to Arizona to visit, she asks me, “So are you going to move there?” She has some serious fears of Arizona for some reason. Hmmm, maybe we should move there…

    Comment by Jamie J — December 11, 2005 @ 9:18 pm

  7. You know if it were up to me I’d have you move here. Hey like I said, my next door neighbors are moving…

    Comment by Kristen J — December 11, 2005 @ 9:24 pm

  8. HMM Arizona sounds nice this time of year, But can the girl next door cook chili? My little girl sarah just asked the other day when are we coming out there she misses all our friends there, then again so do we.

    Comment by Paige — December 11, 2005 @ 10:03 pm

  9. Escondido? As in Escondido, CA? That where we are now. Orange Glen ward to be exact.

    Comment by Hyrum — December 12, 2005 @ 11:04 am

  10. We moved here from the Felicita Ward almost two years ago, Hyrum. (The other stake from yours I believe.) I hope the Dido is treating you well!

    Comment by Geoff J — December 12, 2005 @ 11:26 am

  11. No Paige, she doesn’t make chili. She makes Brazilian Barbecue Sauce.

    Another guy at the end of the night asked me if that was a Brazilian Chili that I made!

    Comment by Kristen J — December 12, 2005 @ 2:45 pm

  12. I’m sure in true Martha Stewart style you replied Yes Of Course!

    Comment by Paige — December 12, 2005 @ 4:21 pm

  13. I fear the wrath of the chili snobs, but Wendy’s chili is my favorite.

    My Uncle Bob used to make a thin soup-like chili that was very warm (he’s from Texas), but alas, no more.

    Comment by FaithHopeLove — December 13, 2005 @ 1:15 am

  14. Wendy’s chili aint bad. I’ve been known to order it once or twice a decade when the thought of fries makes me ill!

    Comment by Kristen J — December 13, 2005 @ 2:04 pm

  15. We had a chili contest at work last week. I put forth my best effort. The contest was held over the lunch hour. At about 10:00 I tasted my chili from the crockpot. It was so good that I thought about calling my wife to tell her the contest was in the bag. At about 11:00 I tasted it again and seriously thought about not entering the contest and taking the chili home for myself because it was to good to share! Later that day I found out the results of the voting. I came in last. Dead last. Not even close to being second to last. I took my leftovers home and ate some more with dinner. It was still great.

    Comment by Eric — December 17, 2005 @ 7:53 am

  16. Those Cretins! They clearly just don’t know a good chili when they taste it, Eric. ;-)

    Comment by Geoff J — December 17, 2005 @ 8:34 am

  17. Well I would have voted for you if I could have voted.

    Comment by Kristen J — December 17, 2005 @ 1:31 pm

  18. Hey Hyrum I grew up in the Orange Glen ward. The church is a small world

    Comment by Paige — December 23, 2005 @ 5:44 pm

  19. I have been searching for my grandmother for 25 years, and finally found her. Her name was Mary Louise Roesch. She lived in Escondido. She was a member of the LDS Church. She died in 1986. I never got a chance to meet her or to get to know her. If you can tell me anything about her, if you have a photograph of her you can share, or if you can put me in touch with anyone who knew her, I would be very grateful. I would appreciate all communications! — Linda McCallister of New Mexico

    Comment by Linda McCallister — August 2, 2006 @ 7:43 pm