You know those folks that show up and people say, "Oh crap, now we don't stand a chance."
All through my Competition Chili Cooking career I have met, and cooked against the best in the world. Most people call them the "Big Dogs" the "Heavy Hitters" the "Point Hogs" and the "Ones to Beat." In the end, they are all just like me, a chili cook, cooking for fun and charity.
When standing in my booth with several folks at any cookoff and one of those people pull in I always hear, "Oh crap, now we don't stand a chance." I know because I have been guilty of saying that several times myself. I have always wondered at what point if ever, would they start saying that same thing about my team, "Oh crap, the Ford team is here."
We cooked in a small Texas town named Loan Oak and it was for a really good charity. It was the only cookoff within four hours so I knew the "Heavy Hitters" would be there and looking to increase their points to become a member in the elite "Point Hog" group. The one thing they did not take in consideration was my girls showing up to cook some chili.
First off, I came sporting my new wind break. My brother gave me this old Ford Tailgate and I incorporated it in with my Chili box. I left it rusty for the look and painted the Ford in white and added our names in black. I think it fits us great.
The oldest daughter Jessie came to cook sporting her new fanny pack and all decked out in Red White and Blue for D-Day Weekend. Even the sun glasses have flags on them.
After the burners were turned off, the truck was loaded and the chili was judged we sat waiting for the final word. Candy only needed two more points to qualify for the world championship and she was doubtful because she said hers tasted too much like Cumin for some reason. Jessie was just wanting to walk and get a point, she did not have high expectation on her chili as well because she could not get much heat in it. Me, I didn't care because I am already qualified and was there for support and to have fun.
They called 10th through 5th place, not a one of us walked, this did not look good. I was getting nervous and the girls already gave up. Most of the "Big Dogs" were not called yet and we knew they would be, they always are.
4th place, hell yea, they called me up. I was not expecting that, but I will take it. Third was called and the girls were ready to leave, they knew it was over. I saw the disappointment in their eyes but I still encouraged them on.
Second place, Candy's number was called. She jumped up like a little girl and ran to the stage. She yelled out, "Qualified!" This 2nd place gave her three more points and she will now be cooking with me for the world championship this year.
I looked at Jessie and smiled, she smiled back at me and said, "Oh well." I told her there was still hope and she just shook her head.
They read the numbers for First place and I heard a loud screech and Jessie jumped up and ran to the
Best day ever. I am so proud of her and Candy for taking first and second. If I could only have gotten third then we could have swept it, but I will take all three of us in the top four any day.
Now it's on to Denton for the North Texas Summer Showdown this coming weekend. Many cooks will be there including most of the "Heavy Hitters" and oh yea, my girls will be there to cooking right beside them.
One more picture before I go and it's the best one yet.
I got a couple of post I need to do this week. We have had some major life changing events happen this past few days and I want to keep y'all up to date so stay tuned.