Aniel Daniel Chili Cook-off Number 35
Music by Clint King
The Green River Bar sent him over to entertain for a while. On Facebook he is Clint King Original.
Looking for his favorite old fashioned pecan pie.
Silent Auction and Live Dessert Auction Fundraiser held March 18, 2017
by Terry Allen
March 19, 2017
Daniel, Wyoming’s 150 residents live scattered in among the willows, meadows and the multitude of little streams that branch off the Green River as it hits this wide spot on each side of the two-lane road we call highway 189.
I parked my pickup in front of the restored 1920 Daniel Schoolhouse where the Chili Cook-off was being held and headed there, but a boy’s laughter, a goat’s bleating and a dog’s barking caught my attention. Off to my left, Daniel Shon Lee and his four-footed friends were running back and forth next to the ancient log cabin they call home. I walked over to introduce myself and get a picture if I could and discovered I knew Daniel, his Mom and one dog, but not Mr. Lee, two more dogs and about a dozen goats. Fortuitously, I arrived at baby goat feeding time and Mrs. Lee had put some baby goat formula into a Best Damn Apple Beer bottle with a nipple on it. It sure was fun trying to take a picture or two you all would enjoy.
I found a shy cowboy and talked him into posing on the front steps of the schoolhouse because I thought it would be cool. "You can just call me Black Hat," he said when I asked him his name.
Inside, there were 13 red chilis and 7 green chilis ready to be judged by Brandi, Doug, Mike and Jim. A little leprechaun named Abigail Pinkerton happily posed in front of her crockpot of Red Irish Chili. "It was easy," she said. "I only had to pour in cans, add salt, pepper and salsa."
Joseph and Mary said hi again, because I’d met them earlier in the day at Ridley’s buying ingredients for their chili submission. They had told me they had gotten the idea at noon and the judging was to start at 5:00 pm. But here they were ready. I tried to get close for a sniff of their pot, but Bettina Sparrowe who was acting as Chili Cop chased me away. On my honor not to talk to the judges, she let me back in to the Crockpot Corral to take a few close up photos of the judges at work. Doug wouldn’t smile for a photo so I figured him as a Hanging Judge. But Brandi smiled at me sweetly and I plumb forgot my promise to Bettina and I moved in a little closer without even meaning to. That’s when Bettina threw me out for good.
I was working my way thru the crowd looking for a good photo when someone stuck out their foot and caught me. It was little Daisy and that’s how I met her Mom Jana Early. "I got up at 6:00 am this morning and put it in the crockpot to work," she said. "I’d roasted green chilis, tomatillos, garlic and onions earlier."
Next table over sat Charley and Elsa Engler. "We got the idea about 10:00 am and I talked Elsa into entering," said Charley. "She’s got a little Mexican in her so it might be a little spicy."
Bettina got on the loud speaker and announced the winners of the chili contest. Joseph and Mary won for the best red chili and Jana Early won for the best green chili. When the overall winner was announced, Joseph and Mary jumped to their feet and gave each other high-10’s. They were so amazed. When I had bumped into them at the grocery around noon they had joked about winning and of course I thought it would be a perfect story. So, what made their chili the winner? "15 spices from Ethiopia," said Joseph. "We’ve thought about entering this contest for years," said Mary. "We usually have to order the spices online for the chili and other dishes we make at home."
I was the last in line for food as usual (which is why I usually get to eat for free), so when I got to the winning red and green chili crocks they had been scraped almost clean. I used a teaspoon to get in the corners and I got enough to know why they had won. Totally new taste sensations, in my opinion. I also tried the elk chili Jeff made, the hot chili Elsa made and of course had to try the Irish Red that Abigail made…all delicious. I tried some more but can’t remember because…beer. Everyone is so nice to photographers in these parts.
Doggone Dave Stephens knows how to auction off pies. $180 for a pie? There were dozens of pies and cakes and other pastry-like looking items that Dave worked so hard, he had to take off his hat every once in a while and wipe his brow. One lady was working her Copenhagen can getting it ready for a pinch, as hard as Dave was working the room. Dave kept thinking she was bidding so they kept up an entertaining back and forth till they figured it out and she finally gave up and bought a pie.
All the money raised goes to maintain the historic schoolhouse so even if it is hard to imagine a pie being worth $180 bucks, the schoolhouse sure is.
Results from Bettina:
Over $5,000 raised!
"Third place red was Shannon McCormick, second place red was Katie Cooper, and first place red and best overall was Mary Simbarcelos!! Third place green was Sue Eversull, second place green was Jennifer Rees, and first place green was Jana Early. These folks each received a check and a handstitched apron made by Nan from the Talking T'Shirt in Daniel. Sue Eversull got the prize for the auction dessert that raised the most money and Kimberly Ervin got the prize for the best decorated auction dessert. We had 22 auction desserts. The children got to play outside! Thank you to everyone."
A big thanks to Dawn Ballou at Pinedale Online for hiring me to create this historic photographic document. I hope someone in a hundred years reads it and gets a flavor of our community…and maybe a chuckle.
The low rez images off this site may be used for personal purposes. High resolution images may be purchased. firstname.lastname@example.org