Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Blue Ribbon Chili

Although lots of foods claim to be "blue ribbon", I can assure you that the Lemmon family chili has ACTUALLY won a blue ribbon! Never mind that it's 78 degrees in Houston. I know it's still frigid in other places, and let's be honest - you can always eat a good bowl of chili. I continually underestimate chili. When I think about it, sometimes it doesn't sound that good. But when I make it, I'm ALWAYS glad that I did. This chili is delicious, every time. I grew up eating this chili, and have since gotten Brent hooked on it. But the story behind the chili is a good one.

Back when I was a freshman at Texas A&M, my mom did what any self-respecting mom did - she joined the Aggie Moms Club. In her defense, I don't think she ever wore an Aggie Moms sweatshirt or had an "Aggie Mom" sticker on her car, but she was a card-carrying member of the club. Each year, the Dallas county Aggie Moms Club holds a chili cookoff to raise money for scholarships. My mom didn't really want to enter as chili cookoffs are not usually her thing. However, one of the other ladies convinced her, and she decided to make a pot of chili to be helpful. She couldn't attend the actual cookoff because she had something else going on, but she was happy to send her chili with someone else.

Now, you may think that the Lemmon family chili is a time-honored tradition, passed down through multiple generations with 45 different kinds of spices, all measured by hand. Well... then you would be wrong. The Lemmon family chili is a mix (a delicious mix, mind you) right out of a box. All you have to do is add meat, tomato sauce, and any mix-ins you desire like beans or tomatoes. All of the spices are conveniently pre-measured and pre-packaged for you in little packets - you just add them to the meat, cook for a while, and you're done. It comes out perfect every.single.time. The brand is "Wick Fowler" and it comes in a little yellow or red box. My mom prefers the yellow box (false alarm... not hot at all) and I prefer the red box (perfectly spicy). Either way, you can't go wrong. I always use turkey and you can't even tell the difference.
Anyway, back to the story....

With the help of Wick Fowler, my mom whipped up a pot of chili, slapped her name on it, and sent it to the cookoff. Done and done. Cause supported... check! Fast forward a few days. The president of the Aggie Moms Club called my mom and informed her that SHE WON THE COOKOFF! And, because she won, her chili recipe was to be featured in the Aggie Mom's cookbook!!!! You can imagine the look of horror on my mom's face as she heard this glorious news. The lady asked her to send the recipe so that it could get printed right away. haha!! So my mom had to decide what to do. She had no idea how much of each spice to add... you just put in the packets!!! She actually considered opening the packets and measuring out each spice to write out the recipe, but then she came to her senses and decided what the heck.... and she told them it was a Wick Fowler box mix. Thankfully they didn't strip her of her prize and let her keep the stylish Aggie Moms apron that she won. It makes me laugh every single time. Here is my mom with her prize cooking up what else? A pot of chili. Love it.

So try a pot of Wick Fowler chili this week and think of my mama. Good job, mom! Sandra Lee would be proud.



The Adam Family said...

This is too funny! What makes it even funnier is that my Martha-Stewart-makes-everything-from-scratch mother uses the SAME chili recipe! ;-) If it's not broke, don't fix it!

Lindsay Ward said...

Awesome! I was about to write the same thing as your last comment! My mom has always used the Wick Fowler mix!

Elena said...

That's so great! Thanks for sharing. :)

Shayla said...

HILARIOUS! I've never even heard of the Wick Fowler mix...apparently I have been missing out.

Cindy said...

HaHaHa! I think that is hilarious. I'm going to buy some Wick Fowler's Mix to take on our ski trip next week.

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