Chili Kings

15 Feb

A few weeks ago, the men in our church branch decided to organize and participate in that time-tested battle of masculinity: the chili cookoff. Once the date had been set, smack talk started filling the inboxes of the entire branch.

The Aussie started it:

… came from the south, from the farthest reaches towards Tierra del Fuego way, known to the Mapuche Machi, the Jangco herb.  The Spanish feared it, never conquered it, ran screaming from it.

Judges we have, the finest there ever was, the purest of heart, they have no fear, be not afraid have no fear in placing the honour of most aromatic, tasteful, culur rich, aftertastenist ronme (chili) upon the most mythical of all chili –  Respiracion del Diablo.

…we laugh, yes laugh, ha ha, we say  at the faint feeble efforts of the other cowpokes, gauchos, hombres, bushwackers, tomb raiders, the ancestor of Owain Glyndwr, and the rest of ya’ll, you know who you are …  enter your imitation of a chili if you dare !!!

The archeologist and his friend continued it:

In only three days, on that day dedicated to love, St. Valentine and special nights out for great dining, you will be tasting the most fantastic chili you will ever experience in your lifetime at the Maadi Branch Chili Cookoff.  The beginning of fantastic chili is the recipe.  For you, we have selected only the best in the history of all mankind.  Wilfred once uncovered a chili recipe that an ancient pharaoh literally took to his grave.  He has spent many weeks translating it, calling upon his years of formal training and even more years of sharing an office with Hugh Nibley.  With the insight that only such experience can produce, he has broken the code of this secret writing so you can enjoy the best possible repast.   It got a bit tricky finding the Wrath of Ra spice and the breast of Horus flaming juice, but due to a resourcefulness not seen since the time of the Romans living in the Fayum, you will be in for a real treat.

The Welshman quietly stirred his chili while his wife sent out promotional material:


The American Historian documented the origins of his chili:

You will recall that immediately after the Church was organized in 1830, Joseph Smith sent a small missionary party, including his brother Samuel Smith and Parley Pratt, on what was called the “mission to the Lamanites.” When I was in the Church Archives this past summer, I was talking to one of my friends who is working on the Joseph Smith Papers project, which seeks to publish every document relating to the Prophet. My friend pulled me aside and said they had just discovered the most curious thing. When I asked what, he walked me to the documents processing area and showed me what looked like an old diary. He flipped it open and pointed to an entry, which read as follows:

“February 14, 1831. My brother Sam and Parley returned from their mission. Came over to my house to report. Insisted on bringing supper, saying they had learned a dish from the Lamanites. Emma was much relieved, but also very anxious. They brought a large pot with what seemed to be meat, beans, tomatoes, and sundry spices. They called it ‘chili.’ It was marvelous to the taste. Upon tasting it, I declared that this was the pure chili cooked by Adam in the Garden of Eden.”

Following the entry was scribbled a recipe, which I copied in my notebook before thanking my friend and returning to my work. (Incidentally, I hear that volume 15 of the Joseph Smith Papers, “Recipes,” will be published sometime in 2012.)

According to everyone at the Chili Cookoff last night, the chilies lived up to their hype. The prizes (ugly Egyptian soup ladles) and honors where bestowed on the following:

Most Flavorful – Harri the Aussie

Judge’s Choice – Patrick Mason!!!!

People’s Choice- Dan the Welshman

We had a great turnout, ate yummy food, laughed a ton, and played the Newlywed Game, which went into double overtime until the Heisses and McAllisters were declared the joint winners. All in all, it was a great Valentine’s Day event!

Pictures forthcoming, once I find the camera cable that seems to be buried somewhere.


4 Responses to “Chili Kings”

  1. Dre February 15, 2009 at 8:50 pm #

    Would you try to find me some of that Wrath of Ra spice and breast of Horus flaming juice? Make that a double order – I’m sure Matt will want some for his culinary adventures, too. Although something tells me you might be able to take the spice out of Egypt but not Egypt out of the spice. Remembering Egyptian food, maybe I’ll pass on that request. But I sincerely would like the Garden of Eden recipe.

  2. Patrick February 16, 2009 at 8:38 am #

    I got my recipe out of a cookbook. It was plenty good, but nothing eye-popping (or tongue-popping, as the case may be). There was an alternate variation including bacon and black beans that I’d like to try…but bacon’s a little tough to come by in these here parts.

    And everyone should notice Melissa’s line: “According to everyone at the Chili Cookoff last night, the chilis lived up to their hype.” She has to cite other authorities since she abstained from eating anything slightly resembling chili. (She did have her share of cornbread, however.) Apparently the Texas Citizens’ Board of Review has initiated an investigation to see whether to revoke her Texan credentials.

  3. mom February 16, 2009 at 8:12 pm #

    My daughter was raised right! It ain’t chili if it ain’t cooked in Texas! All others are wanna be posers who ain’t worth a lick.

  4. Mark February 17, 2009 at 10:21 pm #

    That’s soo hilarious . I want to make some chili now

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