Every year my My Uncle John has a chili cook-off. Nevermind that he, himself, actually cooks no chili. He has hosted this event for many years and after he married my Aunt Barbara, the tradition continued. She shakes her head at the whole thing and says :”Hey, I just live here.” Last year was the first year I actually attended the event as we have lived cross country from them, not the 30 minutes we do now. My invitation was received and my calendar marked. Then I forgot about it. I remembered about a week before and was non-comittal about actually making chili. Not that I couldn’t make chili, I learned at the heels of my father, a master. He used to make Chili for 300 people every Easter. I know, not traditional but hey I am from California after all. So I just was ambivalent. Then I realized that not only could I make chili, I was going to win this cook-off, by hook or by crook. It does bear mentioning that the voting in this cook-off is shady at best. There is politicking, ballot fraud, dangling chads galore and it is absolutely okay to vote for yourself many, many times. I was resolved that I would win and I would win big.
So, I thought and thought and read cookbooks. None of the recipes appealed, inventing my own was the way to go. My creation was a jewel of a concoction, if I do say so myself.
There was every kind of chili imaginable and trust me, you needed quite the imagination to consider some of the other dishes as chili. Crockpots, extension cords, paper bowls, beer, 20 particpants and 150 people crammed into the house. The prize was a hand blown glass chili, which is passed from last year’s winner, and bragging rights. Lots and lots of bragging rights. Well, lookie who won!
Roast Pork and Black Bean (Turtle Bean) Chili was my brainchild, and the others thought it was pretty darned good too. Tonight is the 2006 chili cook-off and I have a title to defend. The recipe is being made again and this time, written down. When it is done, I will share the recipe and (hopefully) the news that I have retained my title. Until then, some photo blogging…