A Very Special Date by Sue Kubecka

Archived in the category: Announcements, Events, General Info
Posted by Joyce Rhyne on 17 Aug 17 - 0 Comments

Mark this date in bright red on your calendars: Saturday, October 28, 2017! This is the day for the 9th Annual Chili/Gumbo Cookoff as hosted once again by Jim Hooper at his local establishment, Hooper’s Bar & Grille on West Maple Street.

Entries in the past have included some from our local outstanding chefs, winners all, to those visiting prize-winning cooks from other areas of Texas who deserve much praise. And each has had a dazzling, original addition to a recipe that makes it not just tasty but memorable as well. Requirements for each entry consist of preparing and cooking your special dish on a propane-butane stove that you bring with you. And ALL cooking must be done in your special spot at Hoop’s; and in case of slightly inclement weather, as has happened in the not too distant past, Hoop’s sheltered and covered area is a godsend.

Additional requirements are that there are NO BEANS in the chili NOR RICE in the gumbo as prepared. A minimal fee is charged to each entrant; further requirements will be discussed later. As seasoning is the name of the game to enhance the individuality of each lovingly prepared chili and gumbo, a specially formed panel of infallible judges with exceptional taste buds will be deciding the winners of each division. And Hoop is prepared once again to offer nibbles of bread and cheese to “cleanse the palate” of each judge prior to sampling the next entry.

We’re hoping to see once again that winning Showmanship Team of Diane and Jim Cooley and Barbara Sue and Jimmy Crouch. They have followed quite well in the shoes of Showmanship winners as headed by Marie Richter and her stunning teams of helpers. Also expected to be present are the other prize winners of both Chili and Gumbo divisions who will be there not to judge other contestants, but to brag about their trophies and issue a challenge to the newby participants.

Following the awarding of trophies to the winning chefs, Hoop will start the raffle of extraordinary items as accumulated by the Friends of the Library. Under the leadership of both Ursula Price, President and Michelle Lippold, Treasurer and Head Honcho of this event, these members with their assistants have accumulated some very special treasures including a 12 foot kayak, which I understand is the most fascinating way to explore some of our back bays. Also on the list of items to be raffled is a blue heron wall quilt as designed and sewn by Peggy Elliott, a local artisan. I’m thinking that this quilt would be stunning in my guest room behind the antique spool bed. And, yes, I’ve bought tickets!

Tickets for this raffle can be purchased in a book of 5 for $20 or a single ticket for $5. Many local merchants have books of these tickets for sale including Hoop at Hooper’s Bar & Grille; Sister’s Gift Shop across from Froggies; Sylvia’s Hair Salon on West Monroe; Teresa’s Nail & Hair on the highway; Josie’s Restaurant; our Library, POC Rod and Gun on Byers Street; and Hurricane Junction. This is a fund raiser by the Friends of the Library and the sale of these raffle tickets will go to support the building of our new Library. Additionally, as Hoop has done in the past, all monies earned from this day’s events at his establishment will benefit our Library as he has done over the past 8 years.

So, if you’re planning to enter either the Chili or the Gumbo division, do get your recipes with their accompanying spices in order; check your portable stove for fuel; and we’ll plan to see you and your friends and helpers at Hooper’s Bar & Grille on Saturday, October 28, 2017!

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