Breakin’ the chill with chili

By Kacie Svoboda

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On Saturday, Jan. 21, Hill City merchants will be warming up the public with approximately 15 chilis at the 2017 Breakin’ the Winter Blues Chili Cook-off.

This approximate sixth annual observance of this event will offer free samples of homemade chili at 14 participating locations from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

As of Friday, 15 chili recipes were expected. This was slightly down from 2016’s chili cook-off, which had 19 varieties of chili available for sampling.

Each business will present at least one chili for tasting, though Things That Rock plans to do two in order to stage a rematch between Wade and Cori Greseth. Both father and daughter will be fixing a red chili.

Last year, Wade and Cori had their own voting system to determine whose chili was the best. This year, however, the winner of the father-daughter competition will be taken out of the official votes.

“We get to count this year so we’ll know who won,” said 2017 event coordinator Shari Greseth of Things That Rock.

Though their competition is just for bragging rights, Wade and Cori are still taking it very seriously.

“They’ve both been searching the Internet for better recipes,” Shari explained.

Last year, Cori’s Texas chili beat out Wade’s for the best Greseth chili. When asked who she thought would take the win this year, Shari thought it best not to say.

“I’m staying out of it,” she said.

But Cori was happy to share her opinion.

“Obviously the daughter is going to win,” she said.

“See they’re already talking smack,” Shari added.

Tasters will have the opportunity to sample chili at no charge and choose the winners for the Best Red and Best White Chili categories. Tasters can pick up score sheets at all participating locations, which will have signs on their shops designating them as chili competitors.

This year, the overall winner in the red and white chili categories will go home with an engraved wooden spoon as a trophy. Winners will be announced at 4 p.m. at Things That Rock.

Tasters will also have a chance to win. All those who sample 12 of the 15 chilis and turn in their form to Things That Rock will be entered into a drawing for Hill City Chamber bucks, which can be used like cash at Hill City businesses.

“It’s a good time,” said Shari. “Make friends, meet neighbors and eat for free. I mean it doesn’t get any better than that.”

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