GINNA PARSONS: 11th annual Chili Fest just around corner

I’m not sure that I’ve ever met a bowl of chili I didn’t like. Chili with chicken, chili with ground turkey, chili with chunks of beef, chili with no meat, chili with no beans, chili with corn, red chili, white chili … they’re all good, especially this time of year.
I appreciate the folks who throw 92 ingredients into a pot and cook their concoction all day on the stove. But I usually don’t have that kind of time. I need something I can pull together in 15 or 20 minutes and let simmer for a half-hour while I make cornbread or sour cream muffins to go with it.
Tupelo’s Best Chili 2002, the winner at the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association’s third Chili Fest, clearly fits the bill. It’s really simple (seven ingredients plus salt and pepper) and can be cooked all day in a slow cooker.
And speaking of Chili Fest, the 11th annual event is Thursday in downtown Tupelo. A lunch of chili from Jim Beane at Bar-B-Q by Jim will be available for $5 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. John Milstead will provide live music.
A dinner ticket costs $10 and also includes chili tastings from each team beginning at 5 p.m. Mr. Lucky will take the stage at 5:30 p.m. followed by Ironwood Bluff at 8 p.m.
Awards will be presented at 9 p.m. for the best chili, voted on by both attendees and judges, as well as best team spirit, costumes and theme.
For more info on Chili Fest, call (662) 841-6598 or visit tupelomainstreet.com.

Tupelo’s Best Chili 2002
2 pounds ground chuck
2 packages original chili seasoning
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 (16-ounce cans) pinto beans
2 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown ground chuck and drain all excess fat. Add chili seasoning and mix well. Stir in tomatoes, beans, tomato sauce and Tabasco sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 6 hours in a slow cooker. Delicious with cheese and crackers or cornbread. Serves 8.
(This winning recipe was from Architecture South team in 2002, whose members included Thomas and Dale Bonds, Kathryn Rakestraw, Kasey Crumbley and Les Tillery.)

Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.

Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal