No, this post is about how last night I did something dumb. I entered a chili cook-off here in Farmington. I don't even like chili. But it was for a church tailgating party and at the time I signed up the event director seemed pretty desperate, so I figured, "what the hey?", and wrote my name down. Then I went home and googled "chili recipe" and got almost nine million hits. Yikes. I went with the first chili recipe that sounded interesting to me, a non chili eater. It was for Maui Chili and called for pineapple and chicken. It even has its own website. (I only made 1/4 of the recipe and omitted the beer, for fairly obvious reasons. Namely - church cook-off and the fact that I don't drink or buy beer in the first place. I don't care if the alcohol "cooks off," because I still have my suspicions that that is a myth. Paul suggested non-alcoholic beer. I still said no.)
It looked like chili. It smelled like chili. And when I tasted it, it tasted like chili. Until the jalapeno peppers and cayenne pepper kicked in. Then I couldn't taste anything. Since I have never cooked with these two ingredients, I think I underestimated their potency and used a little bit too generous of a hand. I panicked and tried to cool down the spicy-ness of my batch of chili with sour cream. Then with an extra can of diced tomatoes. Then with extra cornmeal thickening. Nothing worked. I don't think it tasted bad, but then, I am not a chili eater. In fact, I kind of liked the pineapple and chicken part, but the tomatoes and beans burned baby. It was mortifying.
At that point there was nothing I could do, so I talked my parents into taking two cars and made my mother carry the chili in, hoping that whoever was setting up the contest would assume she had made it, not me. She had tasted it too though, and knew of its spicy-ness, so when I showed up I found out that she had made sure that I would get credit. Turns out my chili was the first in line for judging. I don't know how the judges could taste anything else after tasting my chili, so my guess is that the results of this particular cook-off were skewed.
And that is how I sabotaged all the other chili contestants at a church chili cook-off. And won first-place, not in the overall category, but for the Spiciest Chili. That's me. Spicy. This is really terrible photo, but we only had our phones thinking that there would be no way we wanted to document this funny little get together. Everybody was told to wear their school apparel, so that is why I am wearing my BYU Law sweatshirt. Paul wore his U of U Law sweatshirt.
After the awards were given (only 4 of them - 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and Spiciest, which is ambiguous and could mean worst, but lets not go there, and, just so you know, there were probably about 15 entries too, so don't think mine was merely a pity placing so that everybody got an award), a number of people went straight for my mouth-burner and loaded up on it. The oldest guy (Brother Stoddard) there was in his eighties and he was super cute and came over to me to make sure he got the right chili. I watched him eat two full bowls of it. He saved me from complete embarassment. Turns out there is a whole group of people who only eat chili if it has major heat. Weird.
One other quirk to share before I end this now rather lengthy blog post. I also made a dessert. And I always hold an unofficial competition at these kind of potluck type events (family reunions and such) that I don't tell anyone about where I watch to see whose dessert goes first and fastest. Paul knows that I do this and I'm pretty sure he gets a kick out of it. What can I say? I was born with a competitive streak a mile wide. Like that girl on Glee. Its kind of a big deal to me.
Anyway, I kind of hover around the dessert table just to observe, but not conspicuous enough to draw attention. And I don't tell anyone which dessert I made because that would be unfair to the other (unwitting) contestants. I have a whole theory about how the winning dessert has to be different enough that it is not something that people will make for themselves, but not so unusual as to cause people not to try it. I have to admit that the running was tight between my fruit pizza and somebody else's brownie toffee trifle. But mine pulled out strong in the end.
Behold and salivate:
Okay, maybe three photos was a little unnecessary, but I just couldn't say no. Paul took the photos, as usual.
All-in-all, it was a pretty interesting/weird/fun night. But I don't think I will be entering another chili cook-off any time soon.