Monday, January 28, 2013

A Chilly Chili Weekend

Folly was on me! After harassing Mother Nature for her puny excuse of a "snow storm" last week, she fought back with a vengeance this past weekend!

School was scheduled to end at 2 p.m. on Friday due to Final Exams schedule for the first semester. The schedule was adjusted a bit to let the kids out at 1 though due to the pending storm. Now, in Virginia we are prone to over-reacting to weather forecasts, and living in a very large and very rural county, our school system is even more conservative than the conservative norm.

Let me tell you... It was some masterful planning this time tough! I had prayed/chanted/pleaded that we just make it through the semester before any major schedule-changing freaky weather. Well, the kids departed at 1, and just about the time that the last batch would have crossed the threshold into their cozy houses, the skies opened and it looked like "The Day After Tomorrow" out there!

Teachers were allowed to leave early also, at their own discretion, to avoid bad driving conditions. Being the fool dedicated educator that I am though, I was one of the last to leave the building... and that was only after a not so subtle hinting from the custodians that I needed to GO HOME already!

I sadly must admit that I was foolish to stay at school as long as I did. The roads had grown pretty bad after just two hours of snow. Even getting from the door to my car was a bit treacherous.

I believe the accumulation was just about 3 inches- not that I had any time to go frolic in the winter flakes, much less measure their accumulation. Oh no, it was a Key Club weekend in maximum overdrive! We had our first Annual Chili Sale! Gratitude beyond words cannot begin to explain how indebted I am to the Cooke family who stepped up and took full charge of this event. They shopped and organized and worked and just made it the easiest fundraiser of this magnitude ever coordinated. So easy, that I spent seven hours Saturday with this over-riding guilt that I wasn't "doing enough" because I don't just "show up" for events very well. I am a very hands-on-pick-up-the-slack-jump-in-and-take-charge kinda person... and that kinda person just wasn't needed Saturday.
Seriously, indebted with gratitude beyond measure.
And seriously, a fundraiser of magnitude.
The volume of cans of beans and tomatoes and tomato sauce awaiting the work crew arriving was like a stocked food bank during the holidays! And the mega batches of chili cooking? You could have swam in it... like a rather odd hot tub.
Okay, that's an exaggeration... but I did warm my hands over the batches cooking out in the snowy parking lot on a regular basis.
In a sweetly cruel twist of fate though, the recipe for 250 quarts made 398.5 quarts of chili. So, it could be like the sequel to Bubba Gump around the McHenry household as we hawk some more sales- chili pancakes, chili dogs, chili pizza, chili spaghetti... maybe not the pancakes.

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