Chili Madness

I’d like to speak for just a moment about a subject that’s near and dear to my heart on these cold winter days, and that’s chili.

Chili? Yes, chili. Meat, broth, tomatoes, and spices (toss in some beans and spaghetti if you’re so inclined, but you’ll only get frowned on by Texans, possibly insulted, and even disqualified in certain circles).

Chili is a subculture, a passion to be taken seriously for more people than you might imagine, and there are some excellent chili cookbooks out there these days for the uninitiated. One I picked up recently and would like to recommend is the paperback “Chili Madness: A Passionate Bookbook” by Jane Butel. It’s filled with chili history and recipes, and comes highly recommended if you want to find a wealth of interesting variations on your favorite bowl of red. You can even get the second edition for less than ten bucks right now on Amazon.

That said, I myself am an award-winning chili cook and a card-carrying member of the International Chili Society, and I want to take a moment to briefly mention a handful of upcoming local charity chili cook-offs which you might be interested in attending or entering. Come to cook, or come to eat, but make plans to come regardless.

10th Annual Montgomery County Board of Developmental Disability Services Chili Cook-Off. Saturday, March 12th at the Coliseum, Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Dayton. 5pm – 8pm. This year’s theme is “The Wizard of Oz”; first 150 people in costume get a prize. All ages welcome, admission is $1 for those with disabilities, $3 for otherwise, and over 1000 people are expected to attend. (There is a $25 deposit for chili cooks who want to compete; the money will be returned when you arrive at the cook-off.) For more information or for entry forms, contact Tim Pfister at 937-837-9253.

Wings URS Chili Cook-Off. Sunday, March 20th at Wings Sports Bar, 7902 N. Dixie Drive, Dayton. 12 noon – 4pm. Proceeds benefit United Rehabilitation Services. Free admission, all ages welcome, $20 entry fee to compete. Contact Ashley Brookey for more information at 937-233-1230, ext 104 or email abrookey@ursdayton.org

Milano’s North Dixie Charity Chili Cook-Off, Saturday, April 2nd at Milano’s North Dixie, 6129 N. Dixie Drive, Dayton, Ohio.  1pm – 7pm. Proceeds benefit the Oasis House. All ages welcome, free admission, $20 entry fee to compete. For more information, call 937-890-8228 or email therevtim@gmail.com.

Try to make it out to one of these events. You’ll find yourself enjoying some great chili, meeting some fun people, and you’ll be supporting the charities they’re raising money for. And if you find yourself especially enjoying a bowl of “Hendrix’s Hoppin’ Red Hot”, then I’m sure to not be far away — look me up and say hello.

Tim Walker, 46, was raised by wolves in W.V. after being abandoned by his family. Currently writing two mystery novels, he loves books, offbeat films, Miles Davis and pizza. He has broken his back twice, works as a DJ, loves his wife & kids and rarely howls at the moon these days, unless it's full.

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