A cook-off for America

Halloween is this weekend. This holiday I am told is the most widely celebrated holiday in the country in terms of how many people participate. In my life it has 2 items of significance. One it is the day my youngest son “D” celebrates his birthday, this year he will be 14. He loves the fact that he celebrates his birthday by going out and collecting candy.
Halloween also means that it is time for the annual Chili cook-off at church.

Now for me this is my time to shine. I keep a low profile at church so as I am not asked to speak too often.  (Yes in my church, the people are the speakers, teachers and clergy, more on that in a later entry.).  I fancy myself an amateur chef. I love the food network and watch cooking competitions.  I learned to cook from my mother who would always let me help in the kitchen.  Cooking is a joy to me.
Several years ago when they started the cook-off, I put my heart and soul into a pot of red. Out of 30 entries I won as best Chili. Now this is a point of pride for me. I worked harder each year. This has not always rewarded me. Some years I over did it, added too much here, not enough there. Took too many risks (Adding a can of Coca cola was not a great idea). But more often than not I was in the top one or two. I am soon off to the store.  I got my Hot Hatch Chili’s from New Mexico and will pick up a Habanero to spice it up. I do have competition. The old guy who makes a mean pot of Green, the young kid who makes it so hot your tongue burns off and sends you screaming for mama and a glass of milk! Then there are the standard family fare made by the other mothers and fathers that are usually good, but with varying textures and taste. The one thing they have in common is that they are all different. Choosing the winning Chili for the season is a choice the judges need to make based on how they are interpreted by their taste buds.

With November right around the corner, the election season has officially begun. Like a Chili cook-off, each of the “chefs” (Candidates) are honing their flavors to adjust to the appetite of the judges. One front runner and presumed nominee is doing his best to not offend anyone. Another who came out hot, then stumbled is doing his best to change up his recipe and attack the front runner with childish charges. Another favorite of the Tea Party has come off as petty and trying to use sound bites to get attention. (Not working for her). Then there is the true libertarian (Who is so stubborn he might run as a third party candidate), the ultimate congressional insider,  a governor and others. Then there is the Pizza man. Each of them has their “secret sauce”.

Let the cook-off begin. It will be interesting to see what happens. Will Mr. dependable stumble and be too bland? With we learn to not mess with Texas?  Does America love pizza? Will they all be done in by a Newt? I look forward and enjoy the political theater as much as anyone, but this election has consequences, probably more so than any election in the country for the last 30 years.

Who will win the cook-off? I am off to do my best and delver “Honest” Chili. It will be hot, spicy and tasty, but made MY way.  Let’s see what our potential nominees come up with. Will they be too hot, too bland or middle of the road? Wait it just occurred to me, Goldilocks and the three bears. We just need to find out which Chili is “just right”. Once we find out which one is “just right” we can get down to business and work to replace the man who currently resides in the white house. Four years ago he ran on a message of change. Well I for one do not like the taste of his change. Let’s hope a new “Chef” will get it right and then America will win the cook-off this year.

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