About a year ago when I was talking to a friend of mine about my Dad, he said, “what do you expect? He’s an only child just like you”. Can we say light bulb? Talk about O C S. (only child syndrome) it hit me. My Dad and I were just a like. Boy, 50 years to figure that out! But since my friend pointed it out, I have to say I catch my Dad every time. And I think it’s funny. This past weekend he entered a chili contest. His first one. He grumbled weeks before saying he can’t believe he agreed to it. Now, my Dad belongs to the American Legion. Which is where the contest was being held. He also owns the lunch concession there. So since it was for the “honor” of his post, he said yes. Now my Dad has been a chef for years. Meat and potato kinda stuff. So cooking comes easy to him. He told me once, “if your going to be a ditch digger, then be the best one you can”. I have tried to follow that philosophy with everything I do. So I understand why he wanted his chili to be great. Now, I’m not a chili expert. In fact, not one of my favorite foods by far. But since he was asking everyone he could about an award wining recipe, I started to think. What would make his stand out and what you to keep coming back to taste it? Hot. That’s all I know everyone says it should be. OK. Now I’m not one to do anything that is the norm. Why should my suggestion be any different? “Try pad thai sauce I said”. “What’s that”? he asked. As I explained to him about oh, 8 or 9 times the what and why, he still didn’t get it. I went to the fridge and gave him the jar I had. “Hear, experiment” did he? He says so but I’m betting not. Now my Mom thought it a great idea. Different. She understood that all too well. See she is also a great cook. And she has no problem adding or changing ingredients. The morning of the contest my Dad came over with his award wining chili. He and my Mom had some things to do before he had to present it. And it still needed to be heated. “taste it, tell me what you think” were his last words as my parents walked out the door. As it warmed, I did just that. Not bad I thought. Really good. But not award wining special. That hot kick was there, but not from the pad thai sauce. Too bad my parents still had it. I would have been tempted to add some! (That would have been my O C S) My Dad was less then pleased when I told him I liked it but didn’t think it was going to win any awards! O C S in full gear, he defended it to the max. For a guy who didn’t want to enter and swore he was not going to do so again next year, he sure was passionate! OK, maybe I should have been kinder? But he asked. So what happen? Well, he didn’t win. Came in 6th. Not too bad for his first attempt at making chili. Of course he was not happy. “I thought you didn’t care” I said? “6th is really good for never having made chili and entering a contest before”. Though he didn’t say it, you could see the disappointment all over his face. I bet next year he will use the pad thai sauce, you watch!!! R-