Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Great Camden County Chili Cook-Off

What a day!
It was raining when my cell phone alarm woke me up yesterday a.m.
Didn't want to schlep around in the rain so I got online to see what the weather reports had to say.
Looked as if it would end "mid-morning" (whatever that means!) so I called my helper and told him to go back to sleep for an hour and I'd let him know if/when I was leaving my house.
I did lie down on the couch for awhile but sleep eluded me - which was probably for the best.
Went ahead and fixed the crockpot of chili for D - thinking all the while that I'd probably be run out of the cook-off on a rail if they ever saw my dump method of making chili, i.e. a can of diced tomatoes, a can of chili beans, and one pound of browned ground turkey to which an envelope of chili spice has been added.
Anywho - I finally called the gal who was running the event and she said they were going for it.

Met Dakota at the Post Office and at my suggestion, he rode with me. Such a good kid. Just turned 18 but in some ways, very responsible. And best of all,
We made it to the location all right, driving through a spitting rain which became heavier at various points but never turned into anything that could be described as a downpour.
Unfortunately, instead of being held on a large parking lot, this event was being held in a field. Yes, a field. A field that had been rained on for several days and as a result, was muddy and dotted with puddles.
There was only one tent set up in the craft area but I was determined not to put mine beside it because that area of the field was a mess. The guy who was calling the shots finally relented and allowed us to erect our tent between two food stations.
Okay, so far so good.

We managed to get things set up and the rain finally dissipated but it was certainly chilly! I kept asking Dakota if he didn't want to wear the extra sweatshirt I'd brought (he only had on a tee shirt and a hoodie) but he declined. Before he started eating the chili, I know he was cold. I had on a turtleneck, another pullover and my coat and I was still chilly. After awhile, I put a sweatshirt on under the coat and was finally snug. (click on pix for closer view)
A guy came around to put hay down on the ground inside the booth so all day long, I kept thinking I was in a barn. LOL
It was $5 to taste all the chili you wanted. There were supposed to be 25 chili teams and 15 crafters. I don't think there were quite that many. Dakota counted only 8 crafters, many of whom didn't have sides on their tent.
We'd put our sides on, such as they were, but all day long, the clips kept coming undone and the tarps would start sliding down.
I sold one pair of earrings, a necklace set and then another pair of earrings - just like the ones for the giveaway.
There were a number of browsers and the kids gravitated toward the candy canes, naturally.
Dakota enjoyed the chili a great deal. Every time I turned around, he was coming back with another sample. I'm glad he at least warmed up and got fed because even though the day eventually did turn sunny, the weather became increasingly destructive.
The wind picked up to the point that my displays kept falling over. Things would fall down and get lost in the hay. After awhile, I put all the stand-up displays back in the car and just left the jewelry in the gift boxes. I hate doing that because they don't look as good that way but I got tired of picking them up every time the wind blew them over.
Finally, it just go to be too much -- after one especially strong gust knocked over just about every display and threatened to uproot the tent, I said, "That's it. I've had enough. Let's pack it up and get out of here."

A little boy from the food tent next to us came over and helped us pick stuff out of the hay and off the ground outside the tent. Then he and his dad held onto two of the tent poles while Dakota and I packed it up.
I'd had everything carefully portioned out into three tubs - one for each table - but at this point, we were just grabbing and tossing so now everything's all mixed up.
But I thought it was very kind of those folks to pitch in and help us like that.
I did manage to make my booth rent but after paying my fine, very helpful helper, I ended up making about ten bucks - which went for gas.
Why do I continue to do this?
I dunno. I guess it's an addiction I cannot seem to give up.
I enjoy it such a great deal and despite everything that happened, I enjoyed this one, too. Just wish I could've sold more. SIGH.
Perhaps this was another case of
wrong venue, eh?
But I did pass along a LOT of biz cards and told folks I was offering free shipping till Christmas so who knows? Maybe I'll get some online sales out of it. One can only hope.

Of course, I was worn out when I got home. I got a shower, threw on some pjs, fed the cats and fixed myself a bowl of my soul-healing lentil soup, and climbed into my recliner to watch the SEC Championship game. Felt so sorry for Tim Tebow, bless his heart. It wasn't his day and when he was on the sidelines in tears afterward, it really tore me up.
With all three cats in my lap, I dozed a bit and was glad, after all, to be home, safe and sound.
Oh, and if you're wondering why the beach towel at the top of my chair, it's because the cats like to lie there and their fur gets all over my brown chair!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks so much for leaving me a comment!