By KIM HARRIGER
The Wellington Daily News
There was a chill in the air on Saturday for the 24th annual Chili and Salsa cook off. Wellington residents crowded Heritage Park, paying their $2 to have a sample of all the chili and salsa available for tasting.
Last year’s People’s Choice Chili, Impact Bank, was dishing a delectable recipe, “We’ve been doing this ever since we started, every year.” stated Korey Martin. “We’ve won the chili a few times, but we’ve won salsa more than we’ve won chili.” Kerri Hunter added. You can find get the recipe for their award winning chili (and sassy salsa) in the recipe book available at Impact Bank for $10.
Security State Bank was sporting their Crusader pride and ladling lip-smacking chili for almost their 10th year. “Salsa has typically been our better category, but we think we’ve got a really good chili recipe this year. We tend to switch it up, and we think we’ve gotten a really good recipe this year.” explained Jodie Heath. The mastermind behind the chili recipe this year, Amber Sheppard shared a little bit of her secret, “Bacon.” How can anything with “bacony goodness” be bad?
“Brookshire is one hot place,” stated taster Peggy Gilmore. She was undoubtedly noting Steve Mitchell’s charismatic display on Saturday. You spooned your own chili out of the toilet bowl at his outhouse booth. When asked how he came up with it, “Just orneriness. I don’t do it to win, I just do it to watch people’s reactions. They don’t want to do it, but they do it.” Mitchell offered each patron a few squares of toilet paper to use as napkins, after they got their sample of fiery hot chili.
Many different groups were represented this year, including Troop 76 Girl Scouts of Wellington. Linda Wilson, troop leader, entered a very unique pumpkin salsa. “I had considered watermelon salsa, but thought the fall colors would go better.” Girl Scouts also tout a secret ingredient of chocolate in their chili.Overall, many delicious entries w
ere made and tasters won out getting to sample some delicious treats on a crisp fall afternoon. Chili and Salsa cook off, is a enjoyable tradition that kicks off another exciting fall season.