chili is just one of those meals. a meal for a group. a meal to be enjoyed among friends, and really, it makes sense, you can't cook just a "little" chili. the ingredients, preparation, and time needed to make a decent batch makes it worthy of a large group. also, who wants to waste that wonderful room filling aroma on just a single nose. a beautiful bouquet like that just beckons to be breathed in by a whole bevy of buddies. in autumn, the scent of chili cooking is the perfume every home should be wearing.
secondly, chili in my mind signals the true start of fall. a time when the temperature starts to drop, and you find yourself ditching the flip-flops and looking for a your favorite hoodie instead. a time where the adventures of the spring and summer start to be stories told around the dinner table.
with all of these wonderful qualities chili possesses, it's no surprise wichita's downtown chili cook-off is one of my favorite days of the year. the streets of downtown are filled with the sweet scent of chili cooking, and people venture out to enjoy one of the last weekends of perfect weather. it has become a bit of a tradition amongst my friends to partake in this event, and this year was no different. chili was sampled and enjoyed by all, and a few of us even entered the mr and miss chili pepper contest. after sampling spoonful after spoonful of this september stew, it's also now a tradition to sit on our favorite patio and wash it all down with long island ice tea's.
good times, chili cook-offs.