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From the sunny side: Makin’ chili

Every once in a while, we decide to do something fun here at work. Not that we don't have fun just going through our normal day-to-day duties, we really do. We always manage to get everything done in order to bring you the great local news coverage you have grown to expect, but we also manage to do that with a smile on our faces and a more than occasional laugh. I personally take it upon myself to ensure that my friends here at Greene Publishing, Inc. have at least one or two things to laugh at on a daily basis. We will also get together and enjoy a "company meal" on occasion. This week we decided to do something special for Halloween. We talked about having a "costume contest." I suggested a "chili cook-off" in addition to a costume contest. This idea was met with a good deal of positive support and within minutes discussion began about whose chili would be the best.

I'm not really the "dress up in a costume" kind of person, so I decided to put my finances and effort into making an amazing pot of chili. I have always been a fan of a great bowl of chili. I remember the best bowl of chili I have ever experienced was in the summer of 1985 at a restaurant at Lowe's Ventanna Canyon resort, in Tucson, Az. Since I had that bowl of "Tucson Jailhouse Chili" as they called it, I have attempted to replicate that taste. Although I have not mastered it exactly, I feel I have managed to come as close as possible to equaling this bit of gastronomic greatness.

Of course, none of my co-workers have been treated to such a delicious delicacy as my chili. By the time you read this, they will have been exposed to a delight they probably had little idea existed on this side of the pearly gates. I once made this chili for a Super Bowl party I was hosting. My father was always reluctant to heap praise on any cooking attempts I made. He was definitely a tough "food critic" and you had to truly earn any kitchen-based compliments. That, at least, was the case where I was concerned. I remember my father scoffed at the notion when I told him what made my chili unique. Three bowls later, he gave me a "not bad." From the lips of Pat Patrick, that was high praise indeed.

As I write this, I have no doubt that those co-workers of mine who will attempt to make a better bowl of chili, will provide high-quality culinary competition. I look forward to enjoying their attempts. But this is making chili. If this were a competition of mopping floors or ironing clothes, I would readily yield to my feminine friends. But there are some things that take a man's touch. Real chili is among those things, I think. With my established chili-making skills, I wonder why I'm still single.

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