Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Jonathan Clark!
We wish them purr-fect happiness!
Congratulations to Rene Cortez from Grand Prairie for her 1st Place Chili at the CASI 2014 Texas Ladies State Chili Championship on April 12th out in Seguin. Great big bragging rights, and not just for the win - but for the size of the competition - a field of 192 cooks! Amazing! The event brought out a few of our ladies too...
Maddie went on to claim 3rd Place Showmanship with her Queen Beef & Wanna Beans team. Alas, she was the only CTTCG representative on stage receiving an award. No matter, those of us that have discovered what fun it is to celebrate the color pink will give it a try again next year!
Cecelia Stroessner made quarter finals!
On Thursday, February 13th a bunch of the Usual Suspects served the Chamber Luncheon for the 2014 Caldwell County Junior Livestock Show. Led by Terry and Peggy Wright, Billy Nolte, Frank Estrada, Alicia Brown, Wyman (Bubba) Gilliam, Ron Faulstich, and Dwight Hamilton, these folks wound up serving 165+ bowls of chili, and thanks to Kathy Nolte for the two iced cakes, dessert! Pretty darn yummy too!
Created a couple of years ago by a marketing firm out of Nashville, the 2013 World Food Championships were held in Las Vegas November. It was real hard to take the concept of this new "World Championship Chili Cookoff" seriously when their 2012 innaugural event was held the same weekend as Terlingua. This year the WFC moved to the weekend after OTICC and TICC to entice more participation of serious chiliheads.
A Facebook friend on the Central Texas page, Scott Woodward from Friendswood (CASI) was selected as a Wild Card entry in late September. Scott was very generous in sharing his observations and conclusions with us.
WFC Chili: Three days of competition.
Round One: Red - winner takes home $10K
Round Two: Freestyle - winner takes home $10K
Round Three: People's Choice and
Finals (the top 10 from rounds 1 and 2)
PLAYING THE ODDS
It's a gamble. Small field with only 42 chilis. The top 10 win a minimum of $500, and first place wins $10K.
But judging sucks. Seven tables of 6 judges each and it's over. You land on a 'bad' table and that's it - you're out. No chilis move forward to a final table. But, it is random - your chili lands on the right table and you've got a better chance.
Two categories: Red and Freestyle (can be red, can be white, can be green), none are competition chili as cooked on the circuit. With the WFC it's fresh tomatoes, peppers and onions, and of course, no beans.
Scott said that the People's Choice (finals on Sunday) was a lot of fun getting to meet, greet and talk chili. Most cooks use ground meat to prepare 2-3 gal of chili, beans, corn, etc., to feed to the public. Yes, corn. Dunno. You'd have to ask Scott what connection corn has to chili.
EQUIPMENT and INGREDIENTS
Scott found an Albertson's near the hotel for his tri tip and ground meat. Said he used cubed tri tip for traditional red and placed 5th. The ground meat was for his Freestyle entry and he came in 24th.
When asked about equipment Scott said that the competitors are given a stove. The rest is the entrant's responsibility. Southwest Airlines allows two bags and one of Scott's was dedicated to chili, including a 20 quart pot he'd need for the People's Choice competition along with all the regular bits and pieces needed for a regular cookoff.
Scott said, "Definitely would do it again. The idea of cooking on Fremont Street in 70 degree clear weather and your hotel room 3 minutes away via elevator can't be beat."
Scott reports that overall he came in 17th. He also learned that the judges like their chili just a little on the sweet side.
November 11th was Veteran's Day and the Lockhart Chamber of Commerce put together a nice lunch featuring barbecue for veterans in their community. Anticipating about 120, the Chamber wound up serving lunch to more than 200 on the Courthouse lawn.
Just so happens our own Ron Faulstich, Terry and Peggy Wright were instrumental in putting this celebration of the Vets together, and we thought you might want to know how they spent that particular Federal holiday.
You know how we're always going on about giving a helping hand where it's needed? Let me tell you about a friend of Tom Rowe's. He's a long way from home, lonely and could probably use a little bit of CTTCG love...
Jeremiah Wright, 22 from Port Angeles, Washington was badly injured on August 26th serving his country in the US Army stationed in Afghanistan. While acting as a roof gunner on a Humvee, an improvised explosive device detonated under the vehicle. Both of his arms and both of his legs were shattered, some in multiple places, including compound fractures.
Jeremiah completed vocational training in welding and glazing at Tongue Point Job Corps Center in Astoria, Oregon in 2011, where he met Tom Rowe and Pam Brown before joining the US Army. Jeremiah competed on the Pacific Northwest chili circuit as a proud member of the Northwest Tolbert Chili Group. The name of his pot of red: The Wright Chili. Why? "Because it's always right!" His first time to cook chili was in 2010 or 11, and he uses ground meat - actually ground roast.
Wright is a member of the 35th Engineer Brigade, based in Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., and was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, before his deployment. Wright is expected to return to duty, possibly with a change in jobs, and finish his four-year enlistment.
He is currently recovering at Ft. Sam Houston, Liberty Barracks (Wounded Warrior).
Although phone calls are discouraged, cards and other well-wishes can be sent to Pfc. Jeremiah Wright, c/o Brooke Army Medical Center, 2 East, Room 201, 3851 Roger Brooke Drive, San Antonio, TX 78234.
Just so you know, Brooke Army Medical Center does not allow perishables or latex balloons in the wards, but cards, flowers, cookies and mylar balloons are permitted. If you're thinking underwear, they'd be boxers.
In the preinjury picture above, Jeremiah with his fiance Ashley Elizabeth Ferguson, also from Port Angeles, WA.
August 21, 2013
It's official! The wedding took place on August 17th, so it's a done deal now! Congratulations Bubba & Susie Thorp!
August 15, 2013
Ken Rodd posted sad news yesterday. After a few days of not feeling well, Diane "Dee Dee" McMillan passed away in the early hours of August 14th, the day after her 61st birthday. Cause of death is still a mystery. Dee Dee was a big time CASI cook, and she was frequently on the microphone for announcements. Many in our group may remember her as being on of the ladies on a Harley Davidson at Giddy Ups during last season's CASI vs. Tolbert Shoot Out.
Debbie Eiland Turner July 13, 2013 7:30 am
"Red letter day. Wayne is finally coming home after being in the Waco area for almost a year due to various health issues. He's not 100% yet, but decided it was time to come home."
The 2013 Wastington State Tolbert Chili Championship was held on July 6th in Chehalis, Washington. The Central Texas Tolbert Group sponsored the 1st Place Chili trophy and packed in a few Texana food items for good measure.
Anticipating good weather and temperatures to be between 75-80, the sponsors reported a great pre-event registration of cooks from not only Washington, but Oregon and Canada as well.
In a field of 18 competitors, 1st Place Chili was awarded to Ms. Christene James. Tom Rowe, a recent transplant from the PNW knows her well. His comment on Facebook "this lady is on fire this season," leads us to believe she hasn't been cooking competition chili very long, or at least not as long as some of us.
Now qualified to cook Behind the Store in Terlingua this November, we sure hope she can make it - we'd love to meet her.
Ken Rodd 12:17pm Jul 4
I am proud to announce that Dwight Hamilton is the "VIP" of the month for American Legion Post 83 in Austin, Texas.
Christine Monroe Knight-Ober 7:40am Jul 2
The "Anthony Eats America" webcast is Live! :) So excited they did get a pic of Scott, the Big Kahuna, in there. They did not however get the popup with the CTTCG website :(
(Producer says it's in the descriptions, but I don't see it)
FB - 6/24/13 by Tom Nall
Three generations...Tanner, McCoy, and "Boots"
Makes a man proud!
Bill and Deba Center have been posting pictures from Boerne. The grounds are manicured, the port-a-potties order ordered, trophies are on-site and the river's up. Fire fly sightings have been reported and a rare bass is known to swim the waters of the Guadalupe. Their cookoff is gonna be so freaking awesome! Bring fishing poles if you're a mind to.
Dewey Lawhon posted a new photo on 6/12/13 with a nice note.
"Beth and I are so very proud of the signed OTICC poster that our late friend, Robert Corley, had signed by so many of our friends, and soon-to-be friends, at this past year's Terlingua. We are wearing the staff shirts Robert got for us from our friend, Kathleen Tolbert Ryan. Thanks for remembering us while we are here in Puerto Rico."
April 19, 2013
On the National front, our condolences to all of the folks in the Boston area. Following the news coverage of the house-to-house dragnet taking place, and the historical significance of the community being under lock down is right out of a movie script and is totally surreal. It is hoped that the remaining and at large cowards responsible for the Marathon bombings can be taken in custody, and that ultimately the mastermind behind these attacks of terrorism can be brought to justice.
The fertilizer plant explosion, much closer to home in West, is also very surreal. The loss of life and devastation of so many homes is mind boggling. Our hearts grow heavier as the death toll climbs. Dwight Hamilton, Ron Faulstich and Terry Wright, on behalf of the CTTCG are sending $1000 to the West community to help with the mounting expenses of their displaced citizens.
Dwight Hamilton received an email earlier this week with a digital award from the Austin Awards Program ... although it does have one blatant typo.
Sent: Monday, April 15, 2013 6:20 PM
Subject: Central Texas Tolbert Chil Group Receives 2013 Austin Award
I am pleased to announce that Central Texas Tolbert Chil Group has been selected for the 2013 Austin Awards in the Hobbies category by the Austin Award Program committee.
Our selection of your company is a reflection of the hard work of not only yourself, but of many people that have supported your business and contributed to the subsequent success of your organization. Congratulations on joining such an elite group of small businesses.
March 15, 2001
Look at what Dwight received in the mail!
March 15, 2013
Jon Clark and Cecelia Stroessner are officially engaged, and yes, they've set the date! September 21, 2014. We suggest you put the info on a sticky note and slap it on your December page as a reminder to save the date next year. When asked why such a long engagement, Cecelia hinted at some Big Doings, and with a lot of their family in New York State, time allowances have to be made and piggy banks have to be filled. She also mentioned that since they've been together for 16+ years, there probably wasn't any rush. Congratulations you two lovebirds!!
February 23, 2013
The new laptop has cut the amount of time for the tally count in half, it not a little bit more. Dwight reports that because they are getting the scores at lightning speed, without error or question, and because ties are decided by the computer, switching from one category to another is as easy as resetting the table. The final category turn in of the day in Luling was Brisket at 4:00. Table monitors were in place and ready to sit the judges as samples were being turned in. Thirteen briskets were dispatched in no time and announcements were underway just a little past 4:30. You got to admit, that's fast!
By now you've noticed that Tom Stephens is kinda scarce this season. He and wife Tisha have been busy driving all over Central Texas taking their son Taylor, a long-distance runner to the various running competitions in the area. Looking down the road toward Terlingua, Tom reports that a parent's gotta do what a parent's gotta do and Taylor's schedule sorta rules out West Texas this year. Tom says he'll pop in and cook when he can, and as demonstrated with his appearance at Cedar Hall for the Special Olympics.
Congratulations to our Usual Suspect, Pam Brown for her 1st Place red chili win at the American Legion Post #533 C.A.S.I. cook-off in Bastrop on January 5th. She beat out 36 other cooks, and that's what you call 'representin'!
Chilihead and 2008 Tolbert Men's State Champion, Doug Higgins from Blanco with his friendly "Hello," enjoying a day on the water...
and getting in a little practice with teammate Doug in preparation for the gritty and hotly contested professional Sand Curling event in the upcoming Summer Olympics. We know "The Double Dougs," are gonna make us proud!
Tom Nall and his wife Jana welcomed a brand-new grandson on December 30th via son Tanner and wife Bonnie. The new baby's been named McCoy Alexander Nall, and living out the true cycle of life referred to in The Lion King, Addie Virginia Nall, mother of both Tom and Blue (aka Marc) passed away on January 1st.
Doug Higgins thanked all his Facebook friends for the happy birthday wishes, and then announced that he was changing his birthday to February 30, effectively making his recent birthday his last. This just might give some of us an idea.
Jamie Parker Brown says her "boyfriend" just gave her a new over/under bird gun, and that's she's a happy girl. We're wondering if she bought some of those dove hunting raffle tickets from the Martini Girls.
Tom Rowe has been working with the City of San Marcos putting together a new cookoff to be held sometime in February. They're giving the dates careful consideration as they don't want to step on the toes of our big cookoff for Special Olympics that Jill and Tom Burrows put on at Cedar Hall. That date in 2013 is February 9th. The San Marcos event promises to have a twist or two. Stand by for more info as the event develops.
Tom Burrows is scheduled to be discharged from the Austin Heart Hospital on the 26th where he underwent a valve replacement on September 19th. Recent visitor Linda Odom reports that he's mean as ever, and has returned to normal. Jill says it's mighty quiet around the house, but he'll be back in his tool shed making noises soon.
The Centers and Potters are cruising the Eastern seaboard. Celebrating both Rhonda's and Deba's birthdays these folks flew to New York City and then boarded a cruise ship headed toward Nova Scotia. They stopped off in Boston and had a beer (or two) at a famous little pub you may have heard of...
As reported in the September edition of the Son of a Gap, Wayne "Gabby" [aka Mountain Man] Turner has been under the weather for a spell. Due to some swallowing difficulties, he wound up being malnurished and was checked into a professional care center for a while to help build up his strength. Debbie reports that he was sprung from the nursing facility on September 13th, and is doing much better physically and mentally. But, he still has a long way to go, so let's keep all those vibes of positive energy going.
Congratulations of another sort to the 2010 Tolbert Ladies State winner, as well as the 2010 Tolbert Terlingua champion Christine Monroe Knight and Chris Ober for taking a leap of faith. They got married on Saturday, September 1st. From the pictures posted on Facebook, it looks like the reception was pretty lively and all the participants sure looked like they were having a good time. About a dozen chiliheads attended the nuptuals, mostly CASI folks.
Even more love in the air... Congratulations to Terry & Peggy Wright. Their son John was married on August 25th down in Houston.
Terry Wright with his 82, almost 83-year-old mother Joyce taken during the reception.
Happy 75th Birthday to Jimmy Goodson!
Dear Chili Friends-
I have accepted an offer to become the principal of a private elementary school in Ponce , Puerto Rico, which is on the south ( Caribbean ) side of the island. The school is non-sectarian, and all instruction is provided in English. The entire school is a PK – 12th grade system, and I will supervise and be the principal of grades PK – 6.
Beth and I are moving there at the end of June to begin the next chapter of our lives, and I will begin work on July 2nd. I signed a 2-year contract, knowing that it can be extended if they like me, if I like them, and I like what I am doing. The headmaster (superintendent) there used to work with Beth at Hays High School , so, we will have someone we know to ease us through the transition when we get there.
We are blessed and fortunate to have this opportunity, and even though we know we will dearly miss our family and our dear friends, but this is too good of an opportunity, and adventure, to pass up. Who knows, maybe I will find a chili cook-off down there I can win or at least place in.
See you later!
Deba Center's new footwear.... for four weeks.
She ran into a table but good. Thank heavens she waited until after she got home from a 10-day Alaskan cruise before beating herself up.
Did you hear about Dewey Lawhon? No, not about the wreck (from which he's still recovering though)...about the big changes on their horizon. He and Beth are moving this summer. Yes, moving. Not just out of state, they're moving out the country! They're headed for Puerto Rico where Dewey will be the principal for a private elementary school and Beth will sharpen her skills as a domestic engineer (house wife). Does it take a passport for Puerto Rico? We're betting that Robert and Doris Corley will be making sure that theirs are up to date.
April 7, 2012
New to the McCullough Home:
Born Valentine's Day in Clovis, NM, Patches weighs in at just a hair over 5 pounds and stands (at shoulders) 10.5 inches. The DNA results are in, and she's pure mutt. Breed markers include poodle, Doberman pincher, and something called a Saluki, aka Persian Greyhound, so it's hard to tell how big she's going to get. She has long legs and big feet. Cute as a button, her favorite sports are dominance games, and she enjoys stealing shoes.
April 21, 2012
Texas Ladies State Chili Championship
Wailed and loudly grieved for Lefty for two solid hours.
It paid off handsomely!
Congratulations to all the TLS winners:
1. Sherry Haynes
2. Vickie Hebert
3. Jessie Waguespack
4. Maxine Reed
5. Terry Faas
6. Christy Flores
7. Nancy Draper
8. Dusty Hudspeth
9. Joyce King
10. Dianna Hoy
11. Kendra Keeler
12. Lynette Smith
13. Vickie Harvey
14. Robbie Swart
15. Lisa Stone
16. Cindy Najavez
17. Debbie Lalanne
18. Melissa Draper
19. Reva Weatherly
20. Kathy Hudson
Deba Center showing off the rhinestone ring given to her by Cynthia Whittenburg of San Antonio as a token of good luck.
Aside from being dazzled by all the pink and bling, the cookoff itself was well organized, ran smoothly, on time, and all-in-all was very, very impressive. Not just for the number of lady chili cooks that competed (188), but for the fact that the event is actually put together and run by the men. Confident men in pink embroidered Oxford button-down shirts with the TLS logo over the breast pocket.
View from the stage before announcements. It was nearly as deep on both sides too.
Men taking care of women, women taking care of men. What a novel idea! Makes one wonder if Tolbert might benefit from such a change in the directorship of our Men's State and Ladies' State championship cookoffs. Food for thought anyway.
On Sunday, March 18th, with BFF Robert Corley still in town for the Al Hopkins-Tolbert Texas State Chili Championship, it was the perfect time for taking a putt through the Hill Country. Dewey was packing his wife Beth on the back of his Harley, Corley followed Dewey on his own motorcycle. They admired the scenery and ooo'd and awe'd the bluebonnets and actually wandered quite a distance from Kyle, even getting as far as Llano. On their way back to the Lawhon home, taking a turn on Hamilton Pool Road in SW Travis County, something went wrong and Dewey went down.
He tumbled a good bit and when all the dust had settled, the Harley was on top of Dewey's head and Dewey was out cold. Beth suffered some minor scrapes and bruises, but she and by now a thoroughly horrified Robert pulled out their superhuman strength and got the bike off of Dewey.
After what felt like an eternity, at the response to Robert's 911 call, Air Flight picked up the still unconscious Dewey and flew him to the closest trauma hospital, the University Medical Center at Brackenridge. Dewey finally regained consciousness mid flight. Beth said she knew he was going to be all right when he mumbled something to her about the opportunity to take photos from a helicopter.
He was diagnosed with two fractured vertebra in the upper thoracic region of his back, as well as a fractured eye socket, lots of bruises and "road rash." Ultimately he was transferred from Brackenridge to St. David's Hospital, where on March 22nd surgery was peformed to fuse the broken vertebra.
The operation was a success, he was up walking the halls early the next morning, and was later released to the welcoming arms of a very happy Beth that same afternoon.
Modern medicine is truly amazing! Dewey said he'll be taking it slow for quite a while, and must wear the collar for several weeks, but he's expected to have no long term affects.
There are still some limited sizes available from some of the recent cookoffs. Men's State in Maxdale, and the Al Hopkins-Tolbert Texas State to mention just a couple. If you are interested in obtaining either or both of these T-shirts, send an email of interest by clicking on the T-Shirts below and we'll figure out how to get your order placed.