Ok, so I didn’t really post this at 03:30ET, but I’m writing from the perspective that I did (except I’m a whole lot more sober now).

I started the day with a quick zip over to h!‘s place to help sort out some wireless internet issues. We updated the driver on his wireless card and cleaned up some settings and bingo! all fixed. Then we went for lunch to an Ethiopian place. I’d never had it before, and to be honest, given the images of skeletal children with distended stomachs, I never had much of a concept of Ethiopian cuisine. It was very good. Although I was a little hesitant with the kitfo, it was all quite tasty. I would definitely recommend it, if you get a chance.

Onto the big night of chili eatin’! The 2nd annual Muy Cliente Chili Cook-off. Good food, good people, good conversation, and I drank a full 2-6 of Crown Royal (over the course of 7 hours, mind you; it really nailed me within the last 45 minutes or so). There were prizes for best vegetarian, best meat-atarian and most spicy (aka Muy Caliente). Here’s my notes about the chilis, my votes and the winners:

  • Vegetarian:
    • Tofu Delight: my vote; very good, the spinach was a nice change and interesting flavour
    • Burning Bum: winner; I didn’t find it too spicy, but others did, I thought it had a nice texture (although I don’t remember what that means)
    • Chillin’ Chipotle: a lot of beans and pleasantly spicy
  • Meat-atarian:
    • Yo Mama’s: good, a standard chili, probably what I would have made
    • Texas Chainsaw: different, with chunks of beef, garlicky, a little spicy, but too soupy, maybe more simmering time to soften the meat and soak up some of the juice
    • Sweet Basil: winner; delicious, not too spicy, lots of varied ingredients
    • Sweet Baby: my vote; very good, lotsa meat, “you can really taste the baby”, “it’s the innocence that makes it good”
    • Red Jerky Stripe: spicy, good ‘n’ meaty
    • Radioactive: my vote and Muy Caliente winner; f—in’ hot, but good flavour

I won a small 4-jar spice rack as a door prize, so next year I can make a 4-spice chili. I think a good time was had by all!

Update: Shuttergirl’s comment reminded me that I meant to mention that one of the hosts, Big PB (formerly known as Big JJ), was afflicted with an allergic reaction to Shuttergirl’s Tofu Delight. Apparently, there’s peanut butter in the chili and Big PB has a fatal nut allergy. Thankfully, he also gets an immediate reaction prior to ingestion, so he was able to eject the chili before he was killed. Crisis averted. Ironically, Big PB made the voting ballots which specifically requested guests to disclose allergies.