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Chili cook-off made tasty by community support

On Saturday, Nov. 3, the Upper Township and Coal Grove volunteer fire departments held their first chili cook-off at Upper Township’s Fire Station.

We wanted to take the opportunity to publicly thank everyone that came out in support of our efforts to raise money for updated rope rescue equipment. There were 12 participants in the chili cook off as well as 10 vendors.

There was something that would appeal to just about everyone in attendance.

Les Boggs, along with a few other local political figures, added their support to our efforts. Bill Pratt, Freddie Hayes, Doug Malone and Carl Robinson joined us at the station and served as judges.

Jim Morrison provided live entertainment. He also performed at our annual Safety Day back in October. Yes, that really is his name.

The chili was unbelievable. Who knew that chili could taste or even be made so many different ways?

Both Judges’ Choice and Peoples’ Choice were awarded in traditional chili and non-traditional chili.

The Judges’ Choice for traditional chili put Jennifer and Lee Grubb’s “Tailgate Chili” in first place. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, which selected the team name “Book ‘em and Cook ‘em,” placed second with their “Jail Break Chili.”

Family Creations Floral and Gifts from Ironton used a little play on words with their team name. “The Pistil Packin’ Mommas” (Pistil, being the female part of the flower) placed third with their “Chili Chili Bang Bang.”

A “No Bean-All Meat Chili” cooked up by Healthnet Air Medical took the first place spot from the judges in the non-traditional chili. “Pumpkin’ Chili” was awarded second place for Team Greg in support of former Sheriff’s Deputy Greg Scarlatti who is battling cancer. The “Vital Signs Team” from Ironton City Health Department took home a third place medal for their “Buffalo Chicken Chili.”

Vote tickets purchased for $1 each by the public determined the Peoples’ Choice. The people chose Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office’s “Jail Break Chili” as their first place, gold medal winner. Jennifer and Lee Grubb’s recipe for “Traditional Tailgate Chili” took home a second place medal followed by Coal Grove Fightin’ 400 in third with “False Alarm Chili.”

The “Buffalo Chicken Chili” cooked up by Ironton City Health Department’s “Vital Signs Team” had first place in People’s Choice Non-Traditional. Healthnet Air Medical’s “No Beans All Meat Chili” placed second and Team Greg’s “Pumpkin’ Chili” rounded out the group in third.

The team and chili names were half the fun.

There was a chili battle within Upper Township’s Fire Department with two entries: A “Fully Involved Chili” and a “Signal 16 (DOA) Chili. “Karen Street Zoo Team” had a chili named “Jungle Juice,” and a real papaw brought “Papaw’s 3 Bean Mexican Chili” from Ashland. The Ironton Girl Scouts traditional chili would have worn the name Merit Badge easily.

Again, a sincere thanks all who participated and attended from the members of the Upper Township and Coal Grove fire departments.

Debi Sherman

Coal Grove