This weekend was the annual Wint-o-Ree at Camp Alpine in New Jersey. It was very much a last minuet thing for me, I had no idea how my back would handle it. But as the weekend approached I felt better and made my plans to go. In the middle of the week Miguel got the event lists, wow a whole three days of notice ... good job. He told me there was going to be a leaders event, my interest was piqued. It would be a chili cook-off. I immediately told him I had a recipe and would get all the stuff.

I called Ani and told her to get the recipe for the Chili Pie she makes. She offered to pick up the stuff at Stop and Shop.

On Saturday after the morning competitions we went back to camp for lunch. The kids left for more events, I turned on some Johnny Cash "At San Quentin" on the iPOD and got cooking. I browned the sausage in the Dutch oven, I burnt my hands a little the fire was so hot. At this point I deviated off the recipe a little adding some chili powder and Adobo to the still cooking meat. Once it was done I added the rest of the ingredients along with chili powder and Adobo, and made the batter for the corn bread.

It baked for about 40 minutes of so. Mike and I carefully cut a portion out of the big Dutch oven and put it into the small pre-heated Dutch oven of presentation. We walked over to b-shelter, the judges ate and seemed to enjoy it. We took our Dutch oven and the leftovers back. Mike ate some with his bare hands. It was fuckin' good chili.

To back up briefly, at the camp-o-ree in the spring there was a cooking contest, my Pina Colada Cobbler finished a disappointing third. Mostly because it was clear that the kids hadn't helped. But this contest was for the big boys.

On Sunday, we have packed all the cars, and hike over to the field were the closing was being held. We missed most of the beginning of the ceremony, but we were just in time for the chili results. They announced third place, and then second. At this point I was really nervous, then they announced first place Troop 327, I let out a big sigh of relief. Luckily this year the cooking competition was scored event and counted towards the overall score. That first place along with a second and third place finish in two other events helped give Troop 327 a share of second place overall. I was very proud of the troop, because they worked hard together in their events. And I'm personally very happy that my chili (which is one of Ani's specialties at home) won as well.

Oh by the way Paul Bunyan is spelt with an "A" not a "U" like the patch depicts. Who copy edits these things? I know when I ran these things, Mike would design the patch, and then I would proofread it. Idiots.

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