Sunday, December 05, 2010

Chili Cookoff and Social Media

Jay, Susan, Weldon, Elizabeth and I had a chili cookoff at my house tonight--note, if you can see them, the cookoff judges badges that Jay provided from his years in Terlingua. He and Susan have apparently both been judges in the past. It all started because I posted on Facebook that with cold weather coming, I was going to make a pot of chili. Elizabeth responded that sounded good and she was going to follow my lead, so I suggested she bring hers over since Jay and Susan were already joining me. At first I thought we could co-mingle the chilis but Elizabeth and Weldon are gluten free, and I put beer in mine--they do too (she uses my basic recipe) but they use gluten free. Jay then said I had awakened the inner cook in him, and he made a pot. Jay clearly wins the prize for best and most authentic chili--made with short ribs, not ground meat, no beans but lots of beer, a bit of chocolate and some chipotles in adobo sauce. It wasn't as hot as I feared, and I could taste the chocolate--really good. My chili, as he implied, was more like stew--a much thicker mix of chili-ground beef, beans and beer, but Susan declared it good and said it did have a bit of a kick to it. In my cookbook, Cooking My Way through Life with Kids And Books, I call my my version Judy's Mild and Tentative Chili--and I like it. I didn't try Elizabeth's, figuring except for black beans it was like mine, but Jay pronounced it delicious. Susan brought a big salad and some French bread, and we ate in front of the fireplace. Talk ranged from cats, dogs and possums to yoga, Christmas cookies (and the value of lard). Fun evening.
Jordan and Christian came for lunch and to pick up Jacob. He practically put himself to sleep last night, and this morning announced with great good cheer, "I waked up!" He was cheerful and happy and silly all morning, and at one point said, "I am so happy." Irresistible! Christian said at lunch he felt like he was eating at a local tea room--chicken salad with the ladies. But it was pretty good, and Jordan said the potato salad was perfect.
I am not ever going to mention Weight Watchers again. This morning I announced I was dropping out, but Jordan pushed me to stay in. So I am, but I'm not letting it limit me. What I've learned is that I must eat small portions. I could have eaten four helpings of potato salad at lunch but I contented myself with one small portion, and today I've had exactly one oz. of toffee--that's probabl too much. Anyway, that's the last word you'll hear from me about Weight Watchers--I decided at the party last night that people who talk about their weight all the time are dull, dull, dull.
Spent several enjoyable hours playing hookey and reading--Whiskey on the Rocks by Nina Wright. I am enjoying it thoroughly and love the Afghan hound at the center of the story, a free spirit if there ever was one. But I also studied a blog on using Twitter and made some small progress toward feeling more comfortable with that social media site. After all, if it weren't for social media, we wouldn't have had a cookoff tonight!

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