A special place

"If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, it is a special place where I spend my afternoon."

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Chili and Ribs

   Spring officially arrived on St. George Island, with the 39th annual Chili CookOff. And across the bridge in Eastpoint, the 13th annual Rib CookOff, took place just a couple weeks later.
     The weather was beautiful on the panhandle , the first couple of weeks in March, so, the turn out for both events was great. The last couple years, the weather was well suited for eating ribs and chili. just not outside!
There's parrots everywhere!
  The money that's raised, goes to the volunteer fire departments of St George Island, and Eastpoint, and some of the money comes from the auctions that take place. The one at the Rib CookOff is silent. The one on St. George Island is a live auction that lasts for most of the day. 
    Things up for auction range from fishing trips, donated by local charters, crafts done by local artists, and tickets to major events such as the Daytona 500 always bring a good price.
"Mr. Hot Sauce"
   As always, your social companions are welcome, and there's definitely no dress code! The only rules are to have a good time, and eat lots of food! There's never been a problem with either one of those rules.
          In the chili competition, there's two different categories. The international competition, for the  serious chili cookers, that travel the country with their recipes. And the "Crock Pot Chili" category. This is chili cooked by "the locals", in their own crock pots.
Now, that's some hot chili!
"We want hot dogs"!
   My husband, John, was asked to be one of the four judges for the "Crock Pot Chili" competition this year. And with 23 entries, it was no easy task 
.  Color, consistency, aroma, taste, and after taste, are the criteria the judges use to pick a winner. And it appeared the judges made a good call. When the eating began, the winning chili was gone in no time. When the chili's gone, which this year took less that 2 hours, it's time to  move on to the shrimp kabobs, bar-b-q sandwiches, fried oysters, hot dogs, and funnel cakes. 
Judging was no easy task
   Then there's the crowning of Miss Chili Pepper, and Mr. Hot Sauce,and that was a "huge" event this year! 
1st Place Crock Pot Chili
   And as an added bonus, a 23 ft. boat was auctioned off. Tickets for the boat had been for sale for months at $100 a piece.  And the boat sat in Apalachicola, across from the Tin Shed Nautical Store, through the winter, for people to go look at. Well, as fate would have it, the man that owns the Tin Shed, and looked at the boat every day, won it! 
"See you next year"
   The Chili CookOff is the bigger of the two events, but they're both for a  good cause. And when it's all said and done, nobody goes away hungry! So if you find yourself on Florida's panhandle,  the first couple weeks in March, looking for good food and fun, come to the "CookOffs". It doesn't get much better than this!  

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