Cathy Shannon is not above bribery.
The sixth-grade reading/language art teacher at London Middle School whole-heartedly greeted the judges Wednesday afternoon when they arrived to judge the PTO’s annual chili cook-off.
“Good afternoon,” Shannon said, shaking each judge’s hand and leaving a $1 bill in their palm.
But it was her cooking — and not her persuasion — which won her the blue ribbon during the contest.
Shannon let out a war whoop and jumped out of her seat when her name was called as the winner.
“I told you bribery worked,” she joked to her peers.
Superintendent Dr. Lou Kramer, who served as one of four judges, said he “could neither confirm nor deny” the allegations, but promised to enter the contest himself next year.
He presented Shannon with the prize package: a soup ladle and, most importantly, bragging rights.
This has become an annual event to help bolster spirits at the beginning of another school year, said PTO representative Valerie Peart.
Shannon said this is the second time she has won. This year she entered “Seasonal Cauldron Splendor” — a name suggested by her mother.
She said the key to winning is “to wing it.”
Second place went to the seventh-grade team, “7th Heaven Chili” by intervention specialist Julie McFarland; third place went to the eighth grade team, chili by paraprofessional Heather Williams.
Seasonal cauldron of splendor
By Cathy Shannon
1 pound Italian sausage
1 pound ground beef
1 whole medium red onion, chopped
One-half red bell pepper, chopped
One-half green bell pepper, chopped
Chopped carrots (As much/little as you want in pretty small pieces. They add a natural sweetness.)
2 cans of tomato juice (the big, big cans!)
1 can black beans
1 can light red kidney beans
1 can dark red kidney beans
1 can corn
One-half poblano pepper, chopped
4 tablespoons chili powder
1 heaping teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground garlic
4 tablespoon brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Measurements are approximate
Brown the beef and sausage together in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Then add chopped onion, bell pepper, and carrot and cook together for about 5 minutes — long enough to at least start softening the onion, pepper, and carrot.
Next add the tomato juice and all the other cans. Then add everything else!
I cooked on medium for about 1 hour uncovered and then 1 more hour covered on low.
Reach Andrea Chaffin McKinney at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619, and on Twitter @AndeeWrites.