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Fall Festival 2004 Spices It Up!

More than 500 faculty, staff and their families joined in for a night of good chili, live music and each other's conversation for the 2004 Fall Festival Chili Cook-Off on September 24.

Bridget Caroll Serving Her Award Winning Chili

Judges were in place to award prizes, but I thought my duty as a BC Now! Reporter would not be fulfilled if I had not joined in the fun as well. Though I am an inexperienced chili taster, I was willing to sample anything in front of me. There was a spectrum of chili from steak to veggie and from the recipes of Mt. Kilimanjaro to the lamb based "Oh My Gosht." The booths were decorated to a theme that coincided with the chili prepared. Even the chefs were sampling from other crock pots!

I got in line anticipating the variety of tastes ahead of me and drawn in by the exciting environment. One of the first to be sampled was Alumni Relation's "Full Throttle", made with real steak. It had a great texture and sent my taste buds soaring. The rich taste of chili along side the delectable chunks of steak was enough to ask for more, but after looking down the line of chili I decided pacing myself is the better idea.

As I made my way down the line, cleansing my pallet with different snacks such as sour cream, cheese and chips, I stumbled upon a delightful booth titled the "Displaced Desert Rat." Bridget Carroll was the chef behind this creative name and chili. While the chili looked tempting, her home made tortilla chips attracted more of my attention. The chips were first place in my book, if only they were in the running, and so I decided to take a few for the road. Before moving on though, I definitely needed to try her chili, which was full of meat and looked delicious. It was another favorite; at this point I was not sure who could win.

I reached "Chili Ha-Ha" which was my next memorable chili moment on Saturday. Dan and Donna Brewer concocted this spicy mixture. After tasting their chili I realized that its spicy rating of 7.5 out of 10 was a little low. It had a smooth consistency and great flavor, but I needed more of Bridget Carrollís tortilla chips after this excursion.

The Chili Cook-Off had its variety of decorations accenting the chili. One booth in particular that I noticed was set up as a Chili Parlor/Diner, complete with menus, dishes and an array of hot sauces. Another was decorated with sailor themed items to accent their "Harpoon Chili."

Along with the food, I watched as the faculty and staff enjoyed conversation and live music and sitting at round tables laughing with their friends and families.

Unfortunately the judges at the Fall Festival were not in agreement with my favorites, but I did get one right. First prize was awarded to Bridget Carroll, in which she received a red throw blanket, while 2nd and 3rd (Tracy Lamb's "Sheepish Chili" and Sheila Lyon's "Chili to Cluck About") were awarded red scarves.

Other prizes were given out for the Bake-Off, which I did sample, but ate them too fast to judge. 1st place was given to Kelly Smith for her "Coffee House Fudge", 2nd place was Alina Strand's "Cranberry Apple Raisin Tart" and 3rd place was Susan Henthorn's "Pumpkin Roll."

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