Monday, October 6, 2014

It's A Chili Thing, You Wouldn't Understand

The weather could not have been any better.
Saturday morning it was 43 degrees, the windows of the camper were open, the fan on high. She was cold, I was in heaven.

This is chili weather, nobody argued that. The first weekend of the new chili year and it was our
cookoff. Candy and I have been preparing, promoting and working this cookoff for a year now. I have traveled to many cookoffs talking this one up in hopes of a huge blowout.
At one point I had commitments from about forty cooks. I would travel out of my way to their cookoffs with the agreement they come cook at mine. As the week progressed the cooks started dropping off. One excuse after another was told to me. After a while they started repeating themselves.
We had just enough cooks to make it official, fifteen. We only raised $240.00 for the charity. To say I am a little bitter and disappointed is an understatement. It would have cost me way less money and time if I would have just handed the charity the money out of my pocket and went on with my business.
The major problem was, there were twenty two cookoffs within a four hour area and from what I read they all just had fifteen or so cooks. At least all the charities got funded a little.
Candy ended up with 2nd place, Jessie came all the way up from college station to take 4th and I came in at 5th. Not a bad way to start off the chili year.

So here is the question?
Why is it that nobody wants to do this? I mean it's hard to find new chili cooks. I have not found any hobby as enjoyable as doing this. Is it just that easy to dump a bucket of ice water on your head and write out a twenty dollar check?  Send it, forget it, look what I did on Face Book everybody kind of thing?
Is it a time thing because if I can find the time I know anyone can. Is it the fear of failure and you don't want to know how your chili really measures up? Or is it a simple money issue where twenty bucks to enter a cookoff is too much to give to charity?
These are the questions I will never get an answer to. I invite all my friends on Face Book to come out and cook with me almost every time. I seldom get a response and very few likes, but I will post a movie about a guy falling down and get 300 likes, several reposts and several comments. It's really funny when the folks that tell me they don't have the money will post later that night how much they spent at the bar.

Maybe it's just a small select group of people trying to do good by cooking chili and it's not anybody else's thing. All because I enjoy the crap out of it doesn't mean anyone else has to right? But then, does anyone even have a "thing" anymore or are we so wrapped up in our own little worlds and our small circle of friends that we really don't care what's outside of the box?  

I got more to tell, Later


  1. I sure feel your pain. It seems whenever we count on our friends and even family to help out, they seem to disappear without even making the attempt to un-promise, their original promise. We've been disappointed more times than I can count.

    To answer your question about being wrapped up in our own little world; yes, I believe most people are. Unless they are directly affected, in a positive way (party or recognition for themselves), they won't go out of their way for anything or anyone.

    It's sad really. But hang in there! We may be the last of a dying breed, but we're still here and until the Good Lord comes calling we keep on fighting the good fight!

  2. I think way too many people agree to do too much then for get about it. I love to cook, but taking the time to compete among friends. I don't have the time. The world is changing, it better to waste time on protesting a shooting, then spend time with good friends.

  3. I feel ya, tried to rally support for troops amongst my friends on FB and got one response. These are people that post every sort of 'I support our troops' thing. When they had a real chance to do something other than lip service...crickets. Really sad.

  4. oh GPop - i am so sorry that you were let down and disappointed. if you weren't 10 million miles away, we would definitely come to the chili cook-offs, firstly, to taste all of the chili. and then secondly, to figure out how to steal of your best ideas and then enter and win - bahahahahah! it is too easy to dump a bucket of water on your head and send out invitations to people on facebook that you don't even know. what you and your family are doing is something real...please don't be discouraged. i love reading about these chili cook-offs! much love, buddy, to you and yours!

    your friend,

  5. Worked many chili cook-offs in NV and AZ in the 90's. It's not just the $20, it's gas, food, lodging, etc. Have any "older" cooks offered to teach youngun's the craft of making great chili? Maybe at your cook-offs they could ask if anyone wanted to mentor and advertise that along with it. It can be very scientific cooking chili... when to add what ingredient and what amount and why it makes a difference. Just my opinion.

    1. Thanks S Lynn
      I agree about the add on cost if you were cooking away. But to support your local cookoff, everyone has a couple of pounds of meat in the freezer and some spices. Just around me there are 10 cookoffs where I do not have the extra expense.

      Yes, there are older cooks there to help out and I would even do it "IF" we could get some folks to come out and try it. I have advertised that on FB before.

      I agree it is very scientific and a lot of factors can play in how you do. But just starting out you would not know that and you do it for fun and charity.

      The reason I posted this is because everyone on FB always say they would do it if it was closer, or their chili would win hands down. I called their bluff.

  6. At the end of the day, I only know of a few people I really trust and know of as reliable... their yes means yes. That said, and maybe I'm taking your post the wrong way, cooking chili seems to be your thing... I don't know anybody who likes to go hang out with other people and cook chili. Hunting is my thing... nobody I've ever asked has responded to going hunting with me... not their thing I guess. At the end of the day, 95% of the people around us live per-programmed lives... the TV guide and their boss dictates what they do.

    Maybe if you had your own reality TV show...

    1. Thanks for the comment Clinton
      Chili was not my thing until it came around. Like you, mine was fishing and hunting but chili offered a change of pace. Now I am stuck with it, or it seems like it.
      I agree on the pre-programed life I see every day. I never wanted to be a part of that sheep herd.
      As far as asking to go hunting, maybe you are not asking the right folks, I would go in a heart beat.