1,000 get taste of chili

Published 11:59 am Tuesday, November 25, 2008

On Saturday, the Spring Creek Volunteer Fire Department held their first ever chili cook-off heading up their new fire truck campaign.

It was ladles at 20 paces, as more 41 cooks, some from clubs and organizations, some from local businesses as well as individuals, matched culinary prowess again each other in this duel by fire.

The record-breaking crowd, which exceeded 1,000 in attendance, made its way from table to table tasting all the chilies, trying to find the one that totally took over their taste buds. Some chilies were spicy, some chilies were hot, some sweet and some unusual. Amazingly, no two chilies tasted the same.

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Live entertainment from the Grassy Flat Boys, the Rev. Charles Dennis and Tammy Grimsley provided just the right atmosphere, as many indulged in the many mouth-watering delights.

Each contestant made between four and eight gallons of chili. Some of the recipes were very unique. Reed Rognstad of Spring Creek Park Resort made her Hawaiian chili. Decatur Fish Farm took their seafood chili to the max with a hearty amount of shrimp. In the end, there were no leftovers.

It was not easy for the 12 judges to choose the best chili in the six different categories.

The best overall chili winner was Maria Ricketson for her sweet chili.

“It was a complete shock!” said Ricketson.

The next winner was Terry Joiner of Terry’s Beauty Shop, who won the people’s choice award. Another winner was Tonya Burke, who got the prize for the most unusual chili with her white chili that featured chicken and white sauce.

The hottest chili award went to Ramon Burke for his “fire down below” recipe.

The final award also went to Ray Burke, who brought his hearty chili to win the meatiest chili award. His creation featured venison meat as well as sausage and beef—22 quarts of meat in all.

Another very busy place was the county store barn where beautifully displayed homemade jams, jellies, pickles and other sinfully delicious creations were being sold. Many ladies brought boxes so they could comfortably carry their purchases. Many even shopped for Christmas gifts.

The bake sale was another success story. Cakes, pies and cookies sold out quickly.

The silent auction was very interesting and intriguing. Tables of items were on display and open for bids. The highest amount on the bidding card was the winner.

The Ladies Auxiliary, which organized the event, the public information committee as well as members of the Spring Creek Volunteer Fire Department worked diligently to put together and coordinate the event, making it a great success.

Hazel Burke, head of the chili cook-off committee, said she was extremely pleased with the fund-raiser. It exceeded all of her goals and expectations with proceeds exceeding the profit goal of $10,000.

From the size of the crowd and the many satisfied eaters, the goal of attaining a new fire truck is now substantially closer. Truly, the Ladies Auxiliary should be very proud of their accomplishment.