Monday, June 12, 2017

Sunday: Potluck/Chili Cookoff

On Sunday, one of my colleagues (he is now one of my supervisors, as well) hosted his 15th annual chili cookoff (and potluck).  He invites colleagues past and present, their families and friends.  People enter their homemade chili (rules are: no cans, beans OK) which are assigned a number and are taste tested  by a panel of volunteer judges who take their role very seriously, and the dishes are rated from last to first place.  Every year, there are some 9 or 10 entries, and my colleague hands out prizes or gift cards to the winner and the runners up!  Once the entries have been judged, then, everyone gets to sample them.

Until then, there is a potluck lunch!  Usually, my colleague provides a huge tray of barbecued ribs and chicken.  One year, he and his late wife made several hundred tamales and he swore he'd never do that again!  Others contribute side dishes, desserts, and drinks.  I usually make a fruit platter, or a vegetarian side dish, or bake a dessert, but this year, I decided to take a 6-pack of soda as it was easier. 

At first, I wasn't even sure if I was going or not.  Part of me wanted to go for the socializing aspects of it.  Part of me just wanted to stay home and relax.  The party started at 1:00 p.m., but people arrive and leave throughout the afternoon.  I've gone at 1:00 p.m. some years and have been the first to arrive.  Yesterday, I decided to take my time and went at 2:30 p.m.  It was just right - the potluck lunch had started, but the chili hadn't been judged yet.  I chatted with some colleagues I hadn't seen in awhile as well as some who work with me currently, and enjoyed some of the potluck food.  Then, sampled a little of the chili (by that time, I was rather full!)  I left after about two hours, but the party was still going on and would have gone on for another couple of hours, or so.

I was chatting to one colleague who had left the company for awhile and has recently returned and we were catching up with each other.  She asked me what I did to fill my time now that daughter was living away from home and I said, I blogged!  LOL.  She asked me what I blog about and I said, "This and that; it's a bit like a journal, I write about what I did, about my garden, health issues, and so forth".   She gave me a bemused look, but that is what I blog about, isn't it?  (She's a writer, too, but she's a former teacher and is writing a book about our education system.)

I am glad I went to the potluck/chili cookoff, after all.  It gave me the opportunity to socialize a bit with colleagues and former colleagues.

When I called my daughter to let her know I had come home from the potluck, she told me all about her clothes shopping trip.  She sent me the pictures I posted yesterday and then, she said she wished she could show them to me in person, so we did the next best thing and video chatted, so she could model some of the garments for me.  :)

After that, I watered the back garden.

I also called jury service to see if I needed to report in person on Monday.  I was told I didn't need to report in person, but I should call in again on Monday evening to check about Tuesday.  I was pleased about that, although I was sort of expecting that, based on prior experiences - they seem to wait until Thursday and ask you to come in the following week - that way, they get to extend your service time!

On Sunday, I was grateful for:
- Being able to socialize with colleagues and former colleagues in a non-work environment
- Some good food that others had cooked and brought
- Daughter wanted to share her clothes shopping experiences with me
- I didn't have to report for jury duty
- My friend sent me links to some recipes she thought I might like

How was your Sunday?  Did you have a good day?


  1. My Sunday was very busy as we hosted a picnic for all of my work friends. I'm now wondering if we could do a chili cookoff. I like the idea, but I'm not sure this is the crowd for it. I'm going to give it some more thought.

    1. That picnic sounds like a nice idea! Did you have it in your garden? A chili cookoff might be good, too - maybe suggest it to your friends and see?

  2. What a nice man your colleague/supervisor is hosting for the 15th time. Is this inside at his home or perhaps in the yard/garden? I think you need a fairly big space from the sound if things. Taking the soda was a good choice and I am sure appreciated. So glad you enjoyed yourself.

    1. Sandy, he is a really nice person and so was his wife. I've known him for about 30 years now and met his wife shortly after I met him; attended their wedding and her funeral. They were a very sweet couple - when his wife first retired, she took a cake decorating class and he went with her and learned to decorate cakes, too! Not so much because he was into cake decorating, but because he wanted to spend time with her. Then he'd bring his creations to the office for us to enjoy the next day! LOL! I reminded him of it, the other day, when we were celebrating his birthday at the office with some cupcakes someone baked.

      The potluck takes place in his back garden and garage which has been converted into a sort of den. His backyard is about as big as mine, but unlike mine, it is nice and shady with lots of trees and trained vines.

      I felt a bit like I was cheating, taking in the soda, but I knew there'd be plenty of food and soda is something that can be kept without going bad for awhile, if it was left over.

  3. What a delicious way to socialise. A great idea. X

    1. Yes, it is, isn't it? I really like potlucks.

  4. That sounds like a lovely occasion, and really convivial. Have you ever entered a chilli, and if so, how did you do?

    1. It was a fun afternoon. No, I have never entered a chili! I like chili, but, it's not something I usually make. Some of the people who enter their chilis really take it seriously! :D


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