It’s the Wintertime – Nothing’s Better than Homemade Chili Made by Handed Down German Recipes from Grandma and Grandpa


In many of my various recipe books, I mention going hunting, fishing, and being outdoors waiting for the morning sun to come up so I can catch the light just right as it falls on the water coming off one of the falls near my daughter’s home in Gainesville, Georgia.

It’s cold as the dickens outside. She is with me to fulfill her love of photography also and said, “Dad, you know what would be good…a bowl of your homemade Chili!”

Nothing…and I mean nothing, warms the body and soul like a hearty bowl of chili.

If you have never attended a Chili Cook-off, you must try it someday. You must be careful tasting all the chili after the judges finish judging and you go to taste the participants’ chili.

Let me tell you the reason why.

I am in Austin, Texas and my wife has asked me to head up her team from TxDOT. That stands for the Texas Department of Transportation. When she first went to work there, it was called the Texas Highway Department.

I gladly offered to head up here team. To make a long story short, we won first place in three different divisions. But, across the way, one of the engineering departments entered the contest for the hottest chili. For some reason, making really hot chili is supposed to be good…go figure.

But, we were honored by the Executive Director being one of the judges for the day. The engineers pulled out all the stops and squeezed the oils out of habanero peppers. It is difficult to explain, but when the Director took a bite of their “hot” chili, he got up from the table and quit judging. The cold ice cream didn’t work in cooling down the awful “heat” of the chili.

I looked over at my wife and did not understand why he would be spoiled sport. What could be so hot about a bowl of chili, other than the temperature.

Well, after the judging was over, I went and had a few spoonful’s put in my bowl to see what was so hot about the chili. My God! The chili just touched my lips and it was absolutely unbearable. I mean it!

So, if you are at a chili cook-off and you find someone entering the “really hot” division of the contest, be careful taking that first bite. It may be your last!

Anyways, off to a bunch of really find recipes for making award winning chili for a chili cook-off or just downright good homemade chili during the cold winter days when it is gloomy outside.

Oh, some of these recipes helped me and my TxDOT team win the Austin Livestock Show and Rodeo Chili Cook-off a few years while I was an Oldies Radio DJ working for station KLTD, better known during the time as KOOL99 Radio, as well as Oldies103,

Quirky Whims

Skipping towards the path less traveled.

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Sidney St. James

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Sidney St. James writing as Sean E. Jacobs

Author of Christian and Historical Creative Non-Fiction

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