Blog: Celebration of the fall harvest

My Midwest adventure continues with a fall harvest celebration of chili and bonfires. The adults are there for the chili and the kids are there for hay rides, glow sticks, and setting marshmallows and hotdogs on fire. Whatever the reason for celebration, and regardless of where you live, food always brings family and friends together.

I took my glorious version of the Midwestern classic to an annual Harvest Moon party where everyone puts their best chili effort forward to earn the title of Harvest Chili Champion. Upon arrival, the aroma of spices, beans, and tomatoes from a line of crock pots on a flat bed farm trailer filled the air. I’ve tasted a lot of chili over the years from different parts of the US. Some consist of just meat, some consist of meat and beans, and others consist of chunks of fresh vegetables, corn, black beans–the variations are endless.

I sampled the chili line up and discovered this area, or perhaps this specific group, prefers ground beef, beans, and no heat. I found them all to be lacking the commonality of spice and chili peppers and were uncommonly sweet compared to variations in the south. I should’ve realized the sweet theme after spotting five Krispy Kreme donut boxes. 😂 But out of the dozen or so offerings, most had a wonderful aroma of cumin, however a few stood out with flavors of tomato soup, barbeque sauce, the most surprising was peanut butter and chocolate. 😳

After everyone cast their vote by placing a kidney bean in their favorite chili’s voting cup, the winner was announced. Who won? Not I, the Extreme Chef. Much to my surprise, the Harvest Chili Champion title was bestowed upon the maker of the peanut butter and chocolate chili.

So there you have it folks. What do you do with that candy corn or leftover Halloween candy? Throw it in a pot of chili. 🤣

Until next time, Cheers!
Chef T.

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