October 31, 2011
Chili cook-off raises money for Dryden cafe
5th annual fundraiser for Dryden Community Cafe has grown into a popular benefit
DRYDEN — With nine chili recipes, 10 apple pies and a rock band, the Dryden Community Cafe held its fifth annual Chili Cook-off and Apple Pie Contest on Saturday afternoon.
A sample platter of all nine recipes was $2 and a slice of pie was $1.
The event began as a fundraiser for the cafe and has evolved into a very popular community event, said Beth Peck, president of the cafe’s board of directors.
“It’s a big hit, it grows every year,” she said.
The cafe opened in 2008 and is staffed mostly by volunteers, Peck said.
The chili cook-off featured nine community organizations, each with a unique chili recipe.
Kerra Quinn brought a vegan chili from the Dryden Community Garden. Her chili ended up winning third overall.
“This was made with ingredients that are almost all locally grown,” she said.
The secret ingredient though was not made in Dryden, or even in this country. The spice behind Quinn’s chili was Ugandan curry.
“My friend introduced me to it and I ordered it online,” she said. “It’s slow cooked all night in a crock pot.”
Pat McParlin won second prize for his chili. He represented a group of local residents who come to cafe often, called the George Street Residents.
McParlin made a Louisiana Tex-Mex chili served with chips, cheddar cheese and sour cream. The sour cream was the key to his chili, McParlin said.
“The sour cream really takes a bit of the heat off,” he said.
A local band called The Prophets provided the sound track for the afternoon with a mix of classic rock hits. Around 1:30 p.m. the votes were tallied and the Dryden village’s chili was declared the overall winner.
That recipe was a bit sweeter than most chili recipes because it was made with baked beans, instead of black beans.
The apple pie contest had two divisions, an adult and a children’s division.
Three local community figures, Bob Jacobson, Rick Sivers, the pastor of the Dryden United Methodist Church, and Jack Bush, the highway superintendent were the judges for that contest.
“I just moved here about 18 months ago and this is a great event,” Sivers said. “I’ve never been a part of something like this before.”
Jacobson, a local veterinarian, said that events like the cook-off are what build a close-knit community.
“Can you imagine a better atmosphere than this,” he said. “Everything was fantastic.”
Linda DeLong was the winner of the apple pie contest’s adult division.
Eliza and Eva Wilder, age 7 and 6, respectively, won the children’s division. The sisters made a lattice-topped caramel apple pie. It was their first time in the contest, said Melody Wilder, their mother.
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