Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Chili Freaks

And boy - do I mean freaks.
As you know, I love chili and I love to make chili. I've even included a few posts on here about the subject.

Well, about a year ago, my Nephew was planning to get married on St. Georges Island, Florida. Unfortunately, his lovely bride had an family emergency and all of those plans got re-arranged (don't worry, they're married, they just didn't have a ceremony on the beach).

My sister, the red-head, and I decided to keep our plane tickets and motel reservations and take the trip anyway. It's a beautiful area, with awesome beaches, wilderness swamps, and quaint small towns, such Apalachicola. Really quite worth a week's vacation on it's own. But, we only had a couple days, but one of them coincided with the annual Charity Chili Cook-off.

Not sure how many of you've ever been to anything like this, but it's a unique experience. There were parrot heads there, a radio station, food vendors, etc. We got to sample several chilis (for a buck each!!!), and got a little insight as to how some contestants assembled their concoctions. I saw a lot of canned chicken broth, a lot of red powder, quite a bit of beer and other booz, and a fair amount of hot sauce. The chicken broth is what surprised me most. I really don't use it that much because I think it makes chili taste like chili soup, which is very different than what I'm trying to achieve. I have experimented with beer and will continue to search for other forms of liquid in order to back off on the "tomato-i-ness" of my own recipe. Although some folks like it that way.

At any rate, the cookoff web site has a lot of pictures that give you a good feeling for what it was like there. We took a few of them ourselves. I cut off these chubby gentleman's heads because I don't know them, but they had OK chili (a little bland) and a cool name. Can you tell which dude is the team captain?

These guys easily won for most creative booth. I did not try their chili, but it looks like they've won a number of awards over the years. We're pretty sure this was a real coffin hollowed out with cooking equipment mounted inside. It certainly was an impressive setup.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great time this trip was! The best vacation ever!

Love always....

The Eldest and Wisest Sister