Early this morning Teddy is trying to wake up and start her day.
Though she wakes me every morning, I wake up much easier than she does.
She smells the cooking and starts licking her chops. Black tongue alert!
Even the kitchen aromas don't help.
She decides to catch a few more Zzzzz's.
The Blog Tech assisted in today's post. He and his girlfriend went to a chili cookoff on the trip and he added the pics to this post. At this point I will turn it over to him.
When we got into Skaneateles on Friday night we received word of a Chili Fest in Syracuse. Maybe my mother read about it on the internet, or maybe the scent of cumin, chilies and promise were carried on the wind. We were there the very next day.
Syracuse has really nice old buildings. They're hard to appreciate when the wind chill is five degrees, but that's what the photos are for.
This is Chili Street. Syracuse was having a Winter Fest, of which the Chili Competition was a small part. It was also the only part of Winter Fest that we attended, because Valentine's Weekend shopping was an equally-important facet of the Syracuse expedition.
There were maybe ten different Chili Crews. Each had to prepare their chili from scratch on the spot. Some people wore interesting uniforms, like the Buzzard's Breath people with their green clothes and orange-and-green plaid aprons.
Here is another booth with the obligatory inflatable chili decorations and their implicit warning that says, "I hope you remembered to bring some tums".
DJ Inn and Tipp-Hill Chili. We got there at two, while everyone was standing around and waiting for the chili competition to officially begin. At three, the judges began to eat and the Chili Crews began to serve. Everything was free; all you had to do was walk up to a booth and wait for a complimentary cup of chili. Who says there's no free lunch?
This is the Syracuse Bear. When I saw this guy, I knew I had struck photo gold.
Here the chili fest has officially begun. One thing that quickly became clear was how drunk some of the Chili Crews were. Standing around in freezing temperatures for hours upon hours takes a certain toll, I suppose.
Case in point!
Amidst the chaos, the Syracuse Bear pauses for a photo.
One of the chili prep tables.
And another kind of chili prep table, although this was more for the crew than for their chili. The competition was giving away free bottles of smoothies, which these guys were apparently using to chase the two handles of vodka. They brought their own fresca, however.
Is that a chili hood?!
It sure is!
Cool name, but this chili was not that spicy.
This is the Hotter than Hades Chili booth. It was the first we tried, and it was the very best. I thought that this guy was wearing a giant green chili costume, but nope, that's Gumby.
This is their chili. A perfect amount of heat, and a flavor that really took you on a journey. There was a good amount of beef, and there was no creepy aftertaste that sank a lot of chili recipes in this competition.
This chili was not as good, however. Too soupy.
The Buzzard Breath people made really interesting chili. It had a great appearance, and a unique buffalo sauce flavoring that worked real well. However, it had the creepy aftertaste. Still, I would eat it again. Here it is:
This is the second best chili we tried. Lots of garlic, lots of meat, and a neat red spoon to boot. Here are its creators:
Another somewhat-lame chili. As you can see, the chili was too soupy.
And here are the judges on their cool portable stage.
I was lucky enough to get one final picture of Gumby, creator and server of the Hotter than Hades chili that we loved so well. Here he waves goodbye to some fans. Notice the can of beer with the two straws in it. Gumby's a drunk!
What the heck is that giant metal ball and the metal people? Seriously, what could that possibly be? Click for a better view.
Back to the Sherwood Inn for Valentine's dinner after eating all that chili.
The Blog Tech and his chili eating accomplice.
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