We had our 3rd annual chili cook-off at church last Sunday night (1/20). It was the scheduled activity for the monthly "Third Sunday Supper." I think this was perhaps the best attended one yet. Estimates are in the 60-70 range. That's about what we have on Sunday mornings anymore. I thought it was a super fantastic evening.
This year we had 11 contestants (Jane, Greg, Carrie, Joan, Jim, Matt, Kylie, Samanta, Karen, Katie, and Jared). Kylie ended up being sick, so only 10 were actually there. There were 3 prizes. Samanta won "people's choice" (she is in grade school, btw); Jim won the "judges choice" for the second year in a row (which is funny, because his chili is made entirely from canned and bagged contents); and Carrie won... something; can't remember (maybe 'first done' or 'runner-up'). They were all really good, as was everything else people brought. Again, it was a really, really good night.
Judges for this year were Joan's son and his wife and her mother. I guess I never did even see what the prizes were. They were in bags, and I imagine some nice kitchen utensils or something.
I think the absolute BEST thing about these events is the number of kids running around and having a good time in the church basement. I still think one of the best moves we've made lately is to carpet the basement. It allows the little kids to run and crawl around like I don't remember them doing before. It also just makes it so much cozier and nicer to hang out down there.
After looking back through my blog I realized that we actually had the first chili cookoff in January, and only last year's was in February. There was some debate as to when we had it, and apparently everyone was right.
As good as this event was, I still just shake my head and wonder what things would be like if we could keep people around. Every year it seems like a different group of people. I know this is the case at most places, but it still makes me sad to see so many people walk away; and usually over such petty stuff. But, it is what it is, and this was a nice event. I was very happy that night as we cleaned up and went home.