From Doc Kinnison:
Carrie's mom is under hospic care now. It is in Gods hand. All is going good for Howdy-Roo. See ya'll there.
If you would like to see a video of the Baghdad CCO, here it is: http://www.dvidshub.net/?script=video/video_show.php&id=82985
Article on the Baghdad CCO from Frank & Kathryn Guzman:
Kathryn’s Texas Kitchen
By Kathryn Williams-Guzman
May 16, 2010
The Terlingua International Chili Championship (TICC) was held in November 2009, outside of Terlingua, Texas. Roxzanna Ponce DeLeon and her husband, Robert Broncy, were there last year. Roxzanna is in the military, had already served one tour in Iraq and was due for her second tour. An idea was born to some CASI members to hold a chili cookoff for our troops in Baghdad, Iraq, upon her return. She credits Jeff Johnson as the catalyst for this first ever chili cookoff in Baghdad. She said, “We had no idea where it would go past the Chihuahua Desert sunset.”
If you don’t know anything about CASI (Chili Appreciation Society International), it’s a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Every CASI sponsored chili cookoff’s profits are dedicated to at least one charity. The slogan is “Chili, Charity and Fun.”
As you can probably guess, CASI members are a very giving community. When the call came (actually an e-mail) about the first ever Baghdad chili cookoff, members quickly responded to make it happen.
Ken Rodd, Former CASI Director said “Many challenges were presented – some known and some unknown that had to be solved. Jenny Windsor took the challenge to make the Baghdad chili cookoff happen and started working on it.”
The first challenge was chili meat. “Walmart has not opened a Super Center in Baghdad yet.” Ken said. CASI member Donna Conrad met this challenge by getting 200 pounds of meat donated and shipped. Mild Bills Spice’s, a CASI sponsor, made a commitment to send spices to Baghdad.
After meat and spices, Ken said they realized “Military people going into an area of military conflict do not carry items necessary to cook chili! Something that we did know we needed was pots to cook chili in – again not readily available in Baghdad,” Ken said. “I sent out an email to many chili cooks and some friends asking if they would donate a 3 quart pot and send it over. That began the ball rolling that took on many positive results from many caring CASI members and even non CASI members.”
One of Ken’s friends in Florence, Oregon, is a member of a weekly coffee group of 20 vets. They do many things to support the military. His friend, Tom, told the group about the Baghdad cookoff and they passed the hat, collecting $300 for the cause.
Ray King, a CASI founder, called wanting to know how many pots were needed. Seven had already been donated by CASI members. Ken said, “Ray was going to a CASI chili pod meeting that night and said he would propose the group support this effort. Two hours later Ray called back saying he had $750 donated for pots and shipping costs! It came from personal donations and the CLASSIC CASI Chili Pod.”
“Now we are on a roll,” Ken said. “Whooooooooooooops -- what about beef and chicken broth, bouillion cubes, tomato sauce, and Sazon Goya? By this time CASI members were e-mailing asking how they could help. When told what we needed, the items were donated and shipped. God bless the internet as well as our wonderful chili cooks and friends!”
Ken added that “Bruce Foods, a CASI Sponsor, donated Mexene chili powder, Louisiana Original Hot Sauce and Cajun Shake. Passport America, a corporate member of CASI, sent over 25 cans of broth. Carefree RV Resorts donated a $50.00, $30.00 and $20.00 Wal-Mart Gift Card for each of the top three chili winners.”
According to Ken, “We felt we had everything until someone mentioned – do they have measuring spoons? Well, no! The Black Gold POD from West Texas jumped over the obstacle course and sent the spoons plus can openers. Now we are all set. Right? NOPE! What about cups and spoons for judging the chilis? Again, three CASI people came to the rescue and sent them to Baghdad. David Richardson even went so far as to make up the judging cups completely before he shipped them.”
Meanwhile, in Baghdad, Roxzanna had the bull by the horns to get the chili cookoff going. “Once I landed in Iraq, my second deployment to the Middle East in the span of two years, I got the support of my unit commander. I am not one to shy from a challenge, but I knew this was something I could not do alone. This would be something special and fantastic, a first, and that it had to be shared with the most amazing folks I know, my Chili Family.”
Two logistical sites had to be set aside to store all the goods as they began arriving for the cookoff. “On this side of the pond the word spread fast and the excitement was palatable,” Roxzanna said. “My team was assembled, posters were plastered all over the place like an advertisement for Woodstock. Interviews done and AFN (Armed Forces Network) Radio ran a bit as well. The USO folks searched high and low for a local artesian (not too far really, just across the base) and came up with fantastic trophies. We were set.”
Roxzanna wrote in her newsletter that “Easter Sunday came and it could not have been a more glorious day. Not a cloud in the sky and the weather was right. By 9:30 it started to resemble the beginnings of a CASI cookoff. Folks started pulling up in their HUMV’s and armored vehicles, sounds of M-16 metal clamoring about replaced by the sound of frolicking dogs, camp chairs were unfolded, EZ-ups erected, tables came out, grills and coals were at the ready, and last but not forgotten, the preverbal dragging out the coolers…filled to the brim with Neer Beer…yes, Neer Beer. All were long fully day-dreaming about a Coors or Miller Lite. Me? The national beer of Texas would have suited me just fine.”
“By the time the cooks meeting took place my fears were quelled,” Roxzanna continued. “We had 20 cooks and 7 show teams. I had lofty dreams of a grander number, but considering my competition for the day I was not complaining. Participants graciously retrieved their donated supplies and headed out.”
Here are the winners of the first ever history making Baghdad CASI Chili cookoff.
1st Talisha Castro, Killeen, TX
2nd Jason Pollock, St. Robert, MO
3rd Carlos Morales, Jamesberg, NJ
4th Dominic Smith, Baghdad, Iraq
5th Derrick Tibbets, Wichita, KS
6th Cristin Mount, Lakewood, WA
7th Damon Cleaton, Kempner, TX
8th Zanna “PDL” Broncy, Cloudcroft, NM
9th Nancy Alexis, Mildenhall, England
10th Eric Fischer, Longwood, FL
1st Sather Emergency Management Team, AF Team, Carlos Morales
2nd Joint Robotics Team, Army Team, Roger Deon
3rd The Reapers, AF Team, Eric Fisher
Chili Final Table
11th Curt Schmidt, Ft. Benning, GA
12th Frank Stinson, Baghdad USO (via AR)
13th Carlos Morales, Jamesberg, NJ
14th Guy Piskulic, Toney, AL
15th Richard Long, Alpine, CA
16th Jason Norris, Fort Bragg, NC
17th Tasha Evans, Baghdad
18th Jeff Ward, Georgetown, KY
19th Bruce McVeigh, Baghdad
20th Jed Crabb, Mangnum, OK
Ken and Jenny also requested that those of us who donated a pot for cooking chili include a favorite chili recipe in it. Here is the one we sent.
Frank’s Mesquite, Texas Chili
Makes one 3 quart sauce pot of chili
1 pound beef, grind, cubed, or ground
1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup beef broth
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
½ cup chopped tomato, peeled if fresh
½ cup your favorite chili powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp seasoning salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1½ cups water
2 rounded tsp cumin
Other Items Needed
Measuring cups and spoons
Brown chili meat in sauce pot until light brown, then drain.
Add minced onions, garlic, and beef broth. Cook on medium flame, about 5 minutes.
Add tomato sauce and chopped peeled tomato. Stir until all are well combined
Add your favorite chili powder, salt, seasoning salt, black pepper, and water. Stir all ingredients and liquids as needed. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Add cumin, stir well and simmer 20 minutes.
With home-style, not competition, chili, we serve it with pinto beans, chopped onions, chopped jalapenos or Serrano peppers, and grated cheese. Also, corn tortillas or cornbread are great accompaniments
Good luck and best wishes from:
Frank & Kathryn Guzman
Thank you for serving our wonderful United States of America. We really appreciate all you terrific people are doing for us.
God bless Texas and the United States of America!
Besides making a new chili e-mail friend with Roxzanna through this adventure, Frank and I also received two very gracious notes of thanks from our brave military who received our chili pot and recipe in Baghdad. The letters were very humbling. The fact that our small contribution could improve the morale of our brave young military members even for one day meant so much to us.
Until next time…
Well, It is Friday again. Here's hoping everybody has a Great Weekend cooking chili somewhere!! Good Luck!!