Sunday, February 27, 2011

Second Annual Las Jaibas Chili Cook-off!

Sunday Feb. 27th, 2011

Yesterday was the big event.  Last year Connie had come up with the idea for a chili cook-off to raise money for the La Mision orphanage and this year we decided to carry on with our new tradition.  This is the orphanage that John and Jeri have been involved with over the years and now the Las Jaibas winter visitors are helping with it as well.    When Pat was still here she and Connie got busy organizing this years  event.  As Frank, Sandi, Eric and I were going to be away for two weeks it was decided to delay the event to the end of February because Sandi and I were going to cook.  Last year it was at the end of January but it has been cold and foggy this year so in the end later was better.  Please refer to my Dec. 19, 2010 post for pictures and info about the La Mision orphanage. 

As Pat and Jack had to go home for medical reasons Connie carried on with help from John and Jeri who have had lots of experience with Chili cook-offs.  The event was published in the Pacific Pearl and also Maz Info so there was plenty of publicity.  Even so we were uncertain as to how many people would show up because tourism in Mazatlan is so low this year.  The drug gangs will have to stop gunning each other down on the streets in broad daylight before there will be an upswing in tourists! 

Connie and Jeri decided to order t-shirts with the 100 peso entry fees if anyone wanted one and they turned out to be really cute.  A nice souvenir but I would have preferred an apron so I will order one of those.  Connie made up little packs with a ballot, spoon and cup for tasting the chili and to get one you had to pay 30 pesos although you could donate more if you wished, which some people did.  Thank-you.

  There was a beer, water soft drink tent set up where Arnoldo used to have his outdoor restaurant and the profits from this were also donated to the orphans.  Thanks to park owner Felipe for organizing this! 


The day started with everyone setting up their tables in our designated order from 1 to 13.  We had 13 people cooking and some were from our park and some came from other parks.  A good mix of people and chili. 

I, like most people had cooked my chili a couple of days ahead so the flavor would improve and today it was just a matter of reheating it.  I had a large crock pot ready but in the end I put a bigger pot inside it because it wouldn’t all fit. 

At this point Sam showed up at the door asking if Eric wanted to go for a ride.   He offered to let Eric try out his bike as Eric is looking to buy a new more comfortable one so he was eager to try Sam’s Ultra Limited Electra glide.  They set out at about 10am and I thought they’d be back for the cook-off to vote.  Turns out they weren’t.

We were all set up and ready to go by 12:30 and the people started to roll in.  What a crowd!  Betty was collecting the money and she was one busy lady.

Thanks Betty! 


There were way more people than last year and I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough chili to go around.  I was #11 and told everyone I had every day chili that I always fed to my family.  Lots of beans and vegetables (celery, mushrooms, corn and usually canned green beans too.)  I got positive reviews and I was happy with that.  I was right between Sandi (who told everyone that hers’ was the best chili they would have all day!) and Marion so I was in good company.



Kathy and Sandi ….ready to serve.



George and Sharen with their big boy chili and dispenser of tequila.  I ribbed George about his “dorky hat” but all in fun!  Actually, he looked quite cute!


Helene with her vegetarian chili ready to compete.  It was delicious!


Vegetarian chili!


John & Nate’s chili with Tequila and appetizers!


Hannah & Marion


Eunis from Las Jaibas and Bonnie and her friend from  Punta Cerritos  on the right!


Lorraine from Punta Cerritos.

The park was full of people having fun, tasting chili, drinking beer and tequila and just having a good time. 





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By 2pm lots of people were out of chili although Sandi and I and a couple of others were still serving.  At this point they stopped counting new ballots because not everyone had chili left so the ballots were totaled up. 




So, who won?


Aren’t the aprons cute!  1st, 2nd and 3rd on them as well.  What a great souvenir of a great event!


Third place Bonnie from Punta Cerritos.


Bonnie 3rd, Georgia 2nd, Nate and John 1st!

The third place winner was Bonnie Dunn from the Punta Cerritos RV park, second place was Georgia Lacey from the Mar Villa RV park and once again first place went to our very own John Pfister and his friend Nate Andrews for the second year in a row.  Congratulations all! 



Connie our organizer on the left and hardworking Betty sitting at the table.


Betty gets a break from collected donation money!

There were about 150 people in attendance and the park was really hopping.  Everyone enjoyed themselves and a few diehards continued on at the beer tent long after everyone had gone home. 



Lots of happy people drinking Pacifico and relaxing in the sun.


Everyone relaxing and all done for 2011!

A good time was had by all and next year we’ll all make more chili so we can serve more people and make more money for the children.  In the end we raised about $700.00 that will be put to good use feeding and clothing the children who live at the orphanage. 

A huge success and huge thanks to the organizers, people who cooked chili and also those who  attended and donated time and money to this worthwhile cause. 

Thanks also to Hal for sharing these great photos with me so I could post them on the blog. 

So, the bottom line is we collected 8,160 pesos for the children’s home!  This includes the attendance fees, beer and extra donations.  The money was taken to the home yesterday by John, Jeri and Connie and the home was astounded at the amount that we had collected!   Everyone who participated in any way should give themselves a pat on the back.  Good job everyone!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Toooo Busy!

Friday Feb. 25, 2011

Sounds dumb but it’s true.  However, I do only have to do what I want to do so I have no one to blame but myself. 

Wednesday was the day of to get groceries and then home to bake deserts to take to the fish fry.  The baking took most of afternoon and then it was hardly even cool before it was time to dash over to John and Jeri’s for another great dinner.  As we did last time everyone contributed some food item, paid 50 pesos a couple and then chowed down.  Manny made his wonderful fries and John and Jeri deep fried dorado while Val heated tortillas up.  What a team!  It was even more delicious than last time and we were home by 6pm.  How retired is that!  In our defense it really cools off when the sun goes down and everyone goes inside so they don’t freeze. 

On Thursday I hopped on the bus with Hal to meet up with Helene and Rita who were down at Gaby’s having a pedicure.  We were all heading to the tattoo shop so I could get my first tattoo and the others were either checking tattoos out or as in Helene’s case getting one changed.  Rita and Helene weren’t ready when we got there  so Hal and I carried on but the tattoo shop wasn’t open yet so we  had time for coffee. 

When Sergio opened up at 11:30! we were ready to start.  He discussed my pattern with me and made a suggestion that I get my frogs done  horizontally but I a stuck with my climbing tree frog idea.  He made a stencil from my photocopy and we were ready to go.


Sergio has applied the stencil and we’re ready to start. 




One frog done and one to go!


I asked Sergioif he’d had anyone back out after he’d gotten started…he said, “not today!




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All done!

I did not want any color, only black.  A very professional shop with an artist to do the tattoo so what else could I ask for.  The whole process took about 1 hour and looked great when he was done.  Now I just have to keep it clean and apply antibiotic ointment a couple of times a day.  It looks just the way I envisioned it  and I’m really happy with it.  Cost….800 pesos ….less than 70 dollars ….a bargain!  Now for the next one…..!

As Helene was having a vine tattooed around her last years tattoo Rita and I hopped the bus home.  I was back in time for the every Thursday 1pm hand and foot card game and my partner and I even one.  Done by 2:30 and back to the rig to cook my chili for the cook-off on Saturday.  That took about 2 1/2 hours and by this time I was ready for happy hour.  I popped over to Frank and Sandi’s for a beer and Frank wanted to see my “tramp stamp!”  Since we were only ladies sitting with him I suggested maybe he could start a band “Franki and the Tramps!”  Sandi was up for that since she has her own tambourine. 

This morning I went up to Pueblo Bonito the resort at the end of Cerritos to do some ceramic painting with Sandi, Jeri and Bunny.  Bunny is Dick’s sister and she is staying there so we could get through the gate to get in.  A beautiful resort with lots of tourists staying there.



Flamingo anyone!

We all picked something to paint that had already had a free hand pattern applied by one of the Mexicans and we were ready to start.  Well first we had to pay, then we could paint.  I picked a bowl with feet and got started painting with the watercolor paint.


Jeri and Sandi hard at work. 


This is my bowl painted and ready to fire!

When you are  done the Mexicans clean up any goofs, add there own paint ideas and then fire the new art objects!  They will all be ready to pick up tomorrow.  As Bunny is coming for the chili cook-off she will pick up our “objets de art” for us.  Thanks!


Dick’s sister Bunny, she was speedy and was all done and having her happy hour Bloody Mary’s before we even got done.  Good job!

Back home to make an appetizer for tonight’s park appetizer extravaganza that Betty organized and then bed!  Eric said he wasn’t coming as he really doesn’t like to eat dinner at 4:30 so I guess it’s K.D. for him! 

Tomorrow is the chili cook-off and it will run from 1pm to 3pm.  I don’t know how many people will show up but I hope my crock-pot of chili is enough.  Some people are making appetizers and serving tequila etc. to help them win.  Good luck to all…. I don’t care that much.  There will even be a beer and water tent so that should cheer people up.  It’s all for charity to donate to the orphanage so I hope we make lots of money.   

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A nice ride to San Ignacio

Tuesday February 22, 2011

Today Sam, Rita, Eric and I left the park at about 9:30 for a ride to San Ignacio.  We’d ridden up there last year with Frank and Sandi in their jeep but it was on a Sunday and nothing was open for lunch so we decided to try a week day.  Eric and Sam were also up there this year and again it was on a Sunday and …..not much open.  I guess we’re slow learners! 

It was a bit cool as we left the park but it soon warmed up.  We headed north on the free road and it was amazingly quiet.  No big glut of crazy traffic and hardly any trucks.  We all decided our rides should be on a week day as it is much quieter than a Sunday. 

As we rode along it was apparent that all the vegetation was not only dry but severely frost damaged.  While we were away on our road trip down south it was very cold in the Mazatlan area.  Almost down to freezing in the park and actual hard frost in many surrounding areas including Villa Union.   The trees we saw as we rode were a white beige and lots of the mango and papaya trees were dead on the top.  Many frost damaged crops along the way  and even the palms trees had frost damage in Coyotitan  as we turned off on our way to San Ignacio.  We stopped for fuel at the Pemex on the turn off to San Ignacio and one of the gas attendants said hello in perfect English.  Eric and Sam had met him before at this station and he used to live in the U.S.  He said many crops were killed including peppers, mangos, avocados, tomatoes etc. etc.  So get ready for higher prices for  Mexican produce in the U.S. and Canada until the next crops can be grown.  Hard for the workers too as there are no crops to pick.  That’s Mother Nature for you!


Coyotitan.  Eric really likes this little town.

The ride into San Ignacio was pretty but brown due to the frost and when we rode into town we were once again impressed by the beauty of the big bridge and the town itself.





Clean as a whistle!  We rode into the square by the church and asked a lady on a bench (in Spanish) which was the best restaurant.  She suggested the one across the square so that’s were we went.


P1010122   The door to restaurant is to the left and the door to right is to the performing arts theatre.


The lady sitting in front almost looks like she is part of the mural!


When we entered the restaurant we noticed that there was a huge mural on the wall.  It turned out that the restaurant was also right next to a large performing arts theatre (or was part of it)  and I went in to have a look.  The workers were in the process of washing the floor but they stopped so I could take pictures of the murals on all the walls.  Amazing and very, very well done.  Quite treat to see. 

Here are the pictures of the murals inside the theatre.  They are so beautiful and some looked like you could walk right into them. 


This is a picture of a reaction ferry.  The ferry is running on a cable across the river and when angled to the current of the river it pushes it across.  This would be the old ferry to cross the river before the large beautiful bridge was built.  At home in Terrace we have one still in operation  on the Skeena River at the Usk crossing.  The ferry is in operation as long as the river is not too high or low and when it can’t be used there is a cable car to cross the river for foot traffic but not for cars.







Inside the theatre. There were more murals up there but the floor was flooded with water and clean so I didn’t go up.


Looking out to the street.

We ordered Pacifico and lunch and relaxed while it was prepared.  It was cool and comfortable in the restaurant which was nice because outside it was really, really hot.  As soon as you head inland the temperature really rises.  Too bad it wasn’t this warm on the beach!


We each enjoyed the different lunches we ordered (garlic shrimp, beef, muchaca)  and after we finished lunch we then decided to have a walk around town before we headed back to Mazatlan.  We were looking for the Dulceria (candy shop) that Eric saw on the way into town so we could stock up.  Eric and I have developed an affection for little cocoanut bars and we found them there.


The streets of San Ignacio.


The old mud bricks are crumbling here.

As we walked along I popped in to a shop that was making fresh tortillas…. at first I thought it was a laundry shop but they were rolling out tortillas instead!



Let me tell you it was smoking hot inside this shop.

As we walked back to the square we were back at the large cathedral next to the town square.


This church is so huge it looks like the Taj Mahal!











Looking back into town the way we had just come.


Huge church.  That little person is Rita.

P1010148 Stained glass window over the altar.



A monstrously huge statue of ….Jesus?


This building is under renovation as part of a heritage project.


Rita and Eric sitting in the shade in the square.

Back on the Harley’s and on the road home.

We stopped at the crossroads to San Javier and Sam bought some Pacifico to go.  There was a Mexican there who saw me taking pictures and he encouraged us to head up the road to the town of San Javier.    Next time!


A nice ride back and home by 3:30. 

I was late for the Chile cook-off meeting at Connie’s but I still got there in time to say hello.  I got my number for my table and now I’m ready for Saturday.  Should be fun.