The Great Petaluma Chili Cookoff

Considering the passionate intensity of Senator Feinstein’s support of domestic surveillance and her war on public encryption, I think Orwell got it wrong: It’s Big Sister who’s watching you.

I didn’t learn about the Great Petaluma Chili Cookoff until all the chef slots were filled, but at least i’m at the top of the waiting list in case there’s a cancellation.  I figure if i get in, i’ll win.  After all, what could Petalumans possibly know about making good chili? I mean, would you go to Dallas to get a New England Clam Chowder recipe? Being an expatriate Texan, i’ll win hands down.  Oh wait, the horrible thought just occurred to me that the judges here might be incapable of appreciating good chili, considering that probably not a single damn one of ’em has ever been to Terlingua.  Ummm, has ever heard of Terlingua.

It comes up in about three weeks, and i’m looking forward to attending even if i’m not cooking.  Actually, it would likely be a good idea to have attended the thing once before becoming a contestant.

The other culinary news is that i’ve discovered a little farm stand off Petaluma Boulevard North that sells really excellent strawberries and have already made a jam of them.  Today i dropped by to return their packaging and pick up a box to eat and discovered that they had on the counter some very nice looking sugar snaps, so i bought some of those to pickle.

Meanwhile, we’re in a positive frenzy of spring here, and everything’s blooming.


I have no idea what that thing above is, but the next one’s the stuff folks here call “ice plant”, a member of the Aizoaceae family.  I’d narrow that down more except that there are 135 genera and about 1900 species in that family.  I’m guessing this one may be in the Delosperma genus.

ice plant. Delosperma?

Here’s a closeup.

ice plant. Delosperma?

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