NxNW Spices It Up

Barbara Hilton and Janae Curtis with trash bin diving table decorations

Judges Bob Porter, Patty DeGeorge, and Forest Bell

Let the judging begin!

Cherlyn Conway

On Nov. 6 about 70 neighbors on the streets of Osprey, Brant, Cinnamon, and Willet, better known as NxNW, gathered for the Second Annual Neighborhood Chili Cook-Off.

A committee assembled in May to start planning the event and to find judges who were not from the neighborhood. The organizer of this committee, Eileen Pierson, had some clout and got Chef Forest Bell (well renowned around the ranch), Patty DeGeorge, and Bob Porter to agree to judging.

Fast forward to a picture-perfect day for an outdoor event and setup on the Brant Way cul-de-sac. The three houses on this cul-de-sac are always so gracious to let us invade their space. For this event, we also invaded their electricity to hook up 15 crock pots. Kudos to the setup electrical crew—we never even blew a circuit or had anyone trip over cords!

Neighbors arrived with crock pots and sides of coleslaw, chips, dips, salsa, condiments, and desserts in hand.

As the song somewhat goes …

It’s in the air, celebration time, people at the party are Hot, Hot, Hot

They come to the party knowing what they brought …

Thirteen crock pots are steaming Hot …

She’s Hot, he’s Hot …

Crock pot number 1 is Hot

Crock pot number 3 not so Hot,

Crock pot number 12 is Hot, Hot, Hot,

Crock pot number 5 somewhat Hot

Forest, Patty, and Bob, with spoons, tasting cups, and scoring sheets in hand, started down the line of crock pots numbered 1 through 13 and scored each for color, taste, aroma, spice/heat, and texture, with a score of 1 to 5. It looked like a cooking show as the judges lifted the serving spoon in the crock pots, stirred each chili, and smelled a spoonful from each crock pot. The judges took the duties bestowed on them very seriously, and the neighborhood was filled with appreciation and gratitude that they gave of their time and talent to make our event so successful. But then, we do live at Robson Ranch where “People Help People” should be our motto.

First place was awarded to Donna DeBoever, and Dottie Hurt and Lee Murphy tied for second place.

Gifts of gratitude were given to the judges, as well as prizes to the winners.

Cleanup was quick and efficient with so many helpers, and no event is complete without a trash bin diving event. Barbara Hilton and Janae Curtis just could not handle that all the table decorations were being tossed, so they partnered up to save some of the festive decorations from meeting their demise. Who doesn’t love to repurpose? Way to go, ladies! We just might need to borrow those for the 2022 Cook-Off!