Best gumbo west of the south was almost good enough for first place

image So when the chef’s aprons finally hit the floor at the end of yesterday’s firefighter cook-off, and I realized why I’d been feeling a draft all day, our team finished second with our chicken and sausage gumbo. The host team from Newport, with it’s briquet chili, took the top prize. I didn’t get a chance taste it, but it must’ve been amazing in order to beat out the Best Gumbo West of the South.

Our chicken and sausage gumbo, with dirty rice. How dirty? It wouldn't get a "G" rating, let's put it that way.

Our chicken and sausage gumbo, with dirty rice. How dirty? It wouldn’t get a “G” rating, let’s put it that way.

Rumor has it the reason the judging ran late was because they were trying to decide between our gumbo and Newport’s chili.

I think it’s also possible that, after eating both dishes, they went out for beers to counteract the spiciness.

Our team, Greg and Arda Stober, along with my wife and I. Our clear display boxes had small strobe lights covered in red and yellow tissue paper to look like flames. That's just how cool we are.

Our team, Greg and Arda Stober, along with my wife and I. Our clear display boxes had small strobe lights covered in red and yellow tissue paper to look like flames. That’s just how cool we are.

Either way, I couldn’t be more proud of our team, which included my lovely wife, and fellow firefighters Greg and Arda Stober. We also had support from Janet and Annette, who made the trip from our Florence fire station to show their support by attempting to sabotage Newport’s chili with pieces of chopped up fire boot insoles.

Nice try, girls.

In addition to getting the silver medal, we got four coffee mugs that say: “I got Crabs in Newport.” My wife and I agreed it was OK since we got them together.

One of the reasons I love my wife; we make each other laugh a lot. Sometimes I can even make her laugh with my clothes on...

One of the reasons I love my wife; we make each other laugh a lot. Sometimes I can even make her laugh with my clothes on…

That said, I want to thank all of you for your support and good wishes heading into this competition, and for your understanding over the last week with my running late — and in case of my Nickel’s Worth on Writing, not at all — on my regular posts. I’m looking forward to getting back to a normal schedule, and more postings from This Just In, which has everyone in the newsroom a little nervous — which I think is a good thing.

Except when it comes to “Joe.” When he gets nervous, the result is never good.

I still plan to post today’s Flashback Sunday, but it will be later this evening so I can enjoy being worshiped by my children today. It only happens once a year, so plan to make the most of it. To all of you fathers out there, cheers to you and all that you do in the lives of your families and children. Wear that tie proudly.

And try not to overdo the cologne.

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39 thoughts on “Best gumbo west of the south was almost good enough for first place

  1. “One of the reasons I love my wife; we make each other laugh a lot. Sometimes I can even make her laugh with my clothes on.” You lucky bastard!
    To me, there are few things more endearing than self-deprecating humor. Well played!

    • Hey, thanks so much. It was a great weekend all around. We slept in Sunday, then my wife and son made breakfast. In the afternoon, we all went to a local softball field and played three-flies up, then went to dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant (no, not The Enfermo Taco), and saw the new Star Trek movie (Fantastic, BTW). After the kids went to bed, we sat back, had a drink together and thought about how lucky we are — you know, that the kids went to bed early… 😉

    • That’s definitely in the plans for my new mug. One of the honchos from the newspaper’s corporate office is coming tomorrow. Maybe then? I’ll let you know how it goes. Possibly while waiting in line at the unemployment office…

  2. Maybe you would have won if you had put chopped up fireboat insoles in your gumbo? Perhaps they tipped the balance?

    Seriously, Ned … you’re a ball of dynamite, well done to you and your team!

    Your wife looks like a cutie and well equal to the task of living with you.

    Oh and full marks for drinking out of a mug that gives away your secret 🙂

    • Hahaha! Yeah, next year we’re doing Fire Boot Chili!

      And yes, my wife is extremely cute and up to the task.

      Of living with me, I mean — not the crabs part… 😉

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