Instead of eating real meals last Saturday (July 23, 2011), I decided to be a foodie –sampling my way around a crowd, consuming only miniature forms of real food in hopes of savoring some delicious little tidbit of heaven.
The day and the food started at the Cottage Grove Chili Cook off. A community competition to see who could make the best chili in town – or at least hotter than it was hot outside – the chili cook off was a fundraiser event for the local Chamber of Commerce. For two bucks, each visitor received three tasting cups, a spoon, a napkin and a voting ballot.
I played out my choices by tasting one contestant from each corner of the festival grounds. I started with Village Green’s three bean chili topped with pepper jack cheese and paired with a cute, mini cornbread muffin. With a nice balance of spice and sauce without being runny, this first chili sample was by far my favorite and the crowd’s winner for the day. The second two samples however were also delicious. My second taste highlighted with peppers and onions was accompanied by a sweet, large slice of traditional corn bread. The last taste, served by the local cemetery, had a lovely traditional chili spice and meaty consistency.
While I was tempted on my first browse to just start with the booth after booth of dessert, I somehow survived to make it to the food samples, trying Red Agave’s chicken mole taco topped with Chipotle sauce and then a savory curry over jasmine rice shooter cup. I’ve always wanted to dine at Red Agave so I was very excited to try their bite – and it did not disappoint. It just made me want to eat at the restaurant even more. While the curry cup had a great flavor, the lack of utensil proved challenging to fully enjoy the taste.
While digesting the first round of food, an amazing band from Bend, Oregon took the stage called MOSely Wotta. With a mix of rap and rock and a touch of humor, the group really got the crowd’s attention and all the little girls in the audience dancing to their beats. To stay and enjoy the remainder of the bands set, I went in for the kill with some Lochmead ice cream – one scoop of the peanut butter cup and one scoop of Oregon Hazelnut fudge.
Sitting in the shade licking the last to-die-for tastes of my ice cream and listening to the head bobbing sounds of the band and enthusiastic buzz of the crowd, I welcomed in summer with slow food coma.