Saturday, January 31, 2015

Chili Cook Off- Before, During and after!

The preparation for the cook off is a huge job for everyone concerned. 

Frank at the helm, Marion and Valerie amassing prizes for the raffle, t-shirts and aprons to be ordered, beer, wine,tequila and soft drinks bought, tents to be delivered, chili ingredients to be bought, prepared and cooked……well I’m sure you get the big picture!  The whole event is a huge deal.  An enormous amount of preparation.   Is it worth it… bet!


This year’s t-shirts….150 pesos each.  We also had aprons for sale. IMG_2322

The chili cook off tents will go here this year and we will have much more room.  Felipe (park owner) had to keep these sites open for us.   IMG_2323

Raphael was busy cleaning up, pruning and even removing a sick tree.  I explained at home Eric would hook a chain on it and lift it out with the back hoe.  He just smiled and kept digging!  IMG_2324

The raffle prizes are under wraps…..all thirty of them. Great job gals.IMG_2325

You can put your raffle tickets in the jar for the prize you want to win.  You won’t win something you don’t want.  IMG_2327

We’ve had a wool rug salesman up front for a few days.  Beautiful rugs and he’ll be here during chili cook –off….good plan on his part. IMG_2328

The night before the cook off and the Tecate tents are in place.  The weather is not good and we are all a little worried about tomorrow. IMG_2329

Well….not so worried that happy hour in the Palapa didn’t happen! IMG_2331

Saturday morning and the day of the big event.  It rained hard with thunder and lightning over night.  It rained hard early this morning and I really thought we were sunk but……it cleared off and we all breathed a sigh of relief!IMG_2332

Rocky, Eric and Dick are discussing important stuff.  IMG_2333

Frank and Connie head up front. IMG_2334

We are ready.  Okay a little glitch when the ice guy didn’t show up at his expected 9am.  By 10:30 Dick and John had to head out and find ice somewhere.  You can’t serve warm beer!IMG_2335

Marion, Val and Bev setup the raffle under the small green tent.  IMG_2336

Lots of really nice prizes. IMG_2337

I told you the rug salesman was going to stay.  He obviously thinks it isn’t going to rain. IMG_2338

Time to set up the voting box.  IMG_2339

You pay your 100 pesos and you get a packet with a vote, a cup to taste, a spoon and a napkin to wipe off your shirt when you spill.  Manny made the very festive voting box. IMG_2340

We all met at our stations at 12pm so that that cooks could sample each other’s chili .  I was nauseated by chili at this point and didn’t try any although I served any cook who wanted to taste.


I wore my crown from Eddie’s birthday party….Queenie!

1pm is the official start time and we are now serving.  That’s Rocky beside me and we had fun together.   Rocky knows his chili because Colorado is next to New Mexico and that’s where the really good Hatch chili peppers are.  He made green chili a couple of years ago but he said it wasn’t well received as people didn’t know what it was.  IMG_2341

Jim and Theresa are still here and although Jim was under the weather he tried the chili.  Since he and Theresa are family they probably voted for me…..I hope! 


Manny and George his friend and fellow Oregonian set up the electrical cords to power our chili pots.  IMG_2344

Lots and lots of people tasting chili.  IMG_2345

350 tasting packets were made up and they were all sold at the new 100 peso price. IMG_2346

The rug salesman was set up by the front gate. IMG_2347

Sam was the gate guard. IMG_2348

Eddie/Donald and Eunice at this sales point.  Connie and Helene were also manning the ticket sales. IMG_2349

We were told there were no complaints about the 100 peso cost and some people said it was about time as it is for a good cause.  Super to hear!IMG_2350

The bar was busy with Ralph, Dick, Bill, Dennis and John serving.  IMG_2351


Marion, Val and Bev are busy at the raffle table.   IMG_2355

The tasting tents are packed and some people are relaxing.  Full or not tasting. IMG_2356

The jars are full of raffle tickets now.  IMG_2358



That’s Sandi serving. IMG_2359

Too packed for Eric to get pictures of the cooks. IMG_2360

The tasting has come to an end and what a mess I made.  IMG_2361

Second pot and I still have chili left and so do a lot of other cooks.  Last year we ran out and there were tickets left….this year we ran out of tickets and there was chili left.  Impossible to get it just right.  IMG_2362

That’s Helene on the left.  She was a ticket seller too.


Hal & Helene.  Hal was our official photographer. 


The calm after the storm. IMG_2364

An unbelievably beautiful day and a huge turn out. IMG_2365

Connie, Eddie and Bosco relaxing after the ticket selling is done. IMG_2366

Park owner, Felipe was properly thanked for allowing us to hold our event.  I think Marion was thirsty after her raffle extravaganza!


Frank introduces Rocky.


Frank introduced all 22 cooks after the chili tasting was done.  There is good camaraderie between us and it is all fun. 


Frank & Sandi

The raffle prizes have been won, the chili has been sampled, the votes are being counted and we are all waiting to hear who won.


I should have pictures of the winners but since I was waiting with the cooks….I don’t.   I will tell you my chili was well received and I had many guesses as to the spicing.  There is a little bit of cinnamon in mine and people could taste it, and liked it. 

I did not win this year and it is not even a slight issue as last year’s first place win was a complete surprise.  I think most of us are just happy to have people enjoy what we cooked.  All good!


1st, 2nd and 3rd place were all won by out of park cooks.  I will try to get their pictures and names.


Jeannette and Rita have this years aprons on.  The pockets are obviously a hit!IMG_2374

Eddy and his wife Sandy sold the 50/50 tickets this year. The 50/50 draw was won by Millie who comes from out of the park.  She has many friends here and plays cards with us ladies.  She donated most of her share back to the orphanage.  Thank-you for your generosity Millie!

The Las Cougars and Los Coyotes band from Mar Villa RV park once again donated their time to play for us.  Dancing and music were under the palapa.  Thank-you.

The whole event was pretty well wound up by 6pm and everyone had a great time. 

Thank-you to all who participated. 

I will have missed people who should be thanked but it is hard to participate and keep track.  Pat yourselves on the back as you all did a great job.