Mercury Rising Chili Festival 2015

This debate rages in my household whenever the topic of chili is discussed. Football, weenie roasts, camping, leaves changing… all of these invoke memories of Fall. But nothing tastes quite like Fall to me then a bowl of steaming chili and a cast iron skillet of homemade cornbread.

To Bean
or
Not To Bean?
That is the Question…

Why am I waxing poetically about chili? Because it’s almost time for the 2nd Annual Mercury Rising Chili Fest! What is this you ask? A fun time to be had by all – whether you enter your best chili in the cook-off or just roam around taking in the aromas and tastes of the competitors, sip a nice cold, frothy local beer via the the craft beer pass, listen to some live music, or enjoy a gorgeous fall day downtown with the kiddos. Two words: KID ZONE!

Katie chili

Who will be there you ask? Well, me for one (brief pause for excitement to end), but seriously there will be a panel of celebrity judges to declare which chili team will reign supreme!


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The Chili Judges
  • Col. Marks Garrison Commander
  • Mayor Troy Trulock, Madison City Mayor
  • Laurie McCaulley, City School Board Member
  • Dana Trulock, Madison’s First Lady
  • Dr. Mary Jane Caylor, Drake State
  • Katie Demirjian, Rocket City Mom!!! 
  • Dawn Osborne, Hunsville Musician
  • Kimberly Essex, WAFF
  • Phil Williams, State Representative
  • Mike Kilpatrick, Musician
  • Keith Yager, Free the Hops
  • Lynda Hall, Madison Co. Tax Collector
  • Joe Orozco, Know HSV
  • Steve Hettinger, Former HSV Mayor/LHMC Board Chair

Who does the chili fest help raise money for? A worthy cause known as Leadership Huntsville/Madison County. This organization identifies, educates, and inspires leaders to work together for the betterment of the community – think scholarships, helping other local charities like Manna House, providing supplemental weekend food program to students on free or reduced-lunches. Yeah, they do good stuff around here.

So, go ahead and plan to join me on the 26th for some good food, good libations, good music, and most importantly a good time!

The Cornbread Recipe

Oh, and while I’m not sharing my chili recipe (hey, I told you the bean vs. no bean debate is still ongoing), I will share my Grandmother aka Mamaw Vee’s (and now my) recipe for the best Southern cornbread you ever had – and no, there’s no sugar in this recipe – and that’s a fact!


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cornbread

INGREDIENTS
2 cups self-rising cornmeal
2 pinches of salt
1 egg
1.5 cups buttermilk

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 375degrees F. Heat small amount of oil and cornmeal in the bottom of the skillet on the stove (medium-high heat).
  • Mix all ingredients together. Pour batter into hot skillet once the oil sizzles when cornmeal touches it.
  • Bake in oven for about 30 minutes.

The secret to good cornbread: it’s all about the crispy crust which is due to a heated skillet. Heat your cast iron skillet on the stove with a little oil in the bottom until the oil sizzles when a small amount of cornmeal is added. When it’s sizzling, pour in your cornbread batter. If you hear it hiss, that’s a good thing!


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Now you know my secret, but that’s ok. As my Mamaw would say, ”Don’t sweat the small stuff!"
Now you know my secret, but that’s ok. As my Mamaw would say, ”Don’t sweat the small stuff!”

Mercury Rising Chili Fest 2015

What: The 2nd Annual Mercury Rising Chili Fest
When: September 26th from 11AM-4PM
Where: Huntsville Roundhouse Depot (map)

More Info: mercuryrisingchilifestival.com | Facebook Page
Cost:
$15 admission for chili tasting, live music, and kid’s zone!
$10 Brew Pass for local craft beer- 2 pours, 2 samples, souvenir cup

Live music from Milltown and Huntsville Community Drumline. Get the full schedule of events for the festival HERE.