A ROYAL FOURTH I insisted that Sister Margaret accompany me to a special Fourth of July event the United Court of Austin's College of Monarchs' Roadkill Chili Cookoff, of which I was to be a judge. Since we knew we'd be among royalty that day (see www.unitedcourtofaustin.com the UCA is a charitable and social organization electing annual "Emperors" and "Empresses" to lead their good works), Margaret brought over two tiaras so we'd feel more comfortable among them. My feeling was that we'd overshadow the glory of the royal residents if we wore tiaras, adhering to the maxim that some wear their crowns on the outside and some wear them on the inside. Upon arrival, we ran into our old friend, the glamorous Empress VII Bebe Hughes, who introduced us to our host of the evening, Marc Alexander (aka Mona littleMore). We shared judging responsibilities with Rob Faubion, the dashing and handsome editor of Ambush (and member of the Austin Babtist Women, who just returned from a fundraiser in Pensacola after raising an incredible $24,000 for their cause). The divine winning chili entry was from Emperor IX Leigh Bray Rockhopper, whose delicious and aromatic offering was both creative and unusual. Check out the Emporer's Chili below.
STRIKE A POSE The new face on Austin's modeling scene is not a model at all; it's a modeling agency called Agencé Talent (pronounced "agency"). The hip boutique agency, founded by Erin Franklin, was launched in 2003 to meet the demands of the local industry and help previously undiscovered models and actors break into it. Franklin works closely with the talent she signs, exposing them to leading clients, photographers, and casting directors. Her stable of beauties have already appeared in every major local publication. Check out their Web site, www.agencetalent.com, to see how to apply.
MAKING THE COLUMNS I keep my home page on my computer set to www.gossipcentral.com, so whenever I sign on, I have a plethora of columns in front of me to click on. But the only ones I rely on every day are the links for the New York Post Richard Johnson's "Page Six" and the trio of gossips, Cindy Adams, Liz Smith, and the newest, Elisa Lipsky-Karasz. So it was fun to see last week that I had friends in print in two of the columns. Liz Smith gave a good plug to our mutual friend Carolyn Farb's new book, The Fine Art of Fundraising: Carolyn Farb's Secrets to Success. As a premier fundraiser, Mme. Farb has plenty of secrets to share, and we'll bring more from her soon. Elisa Lipsky-Karasz (she of cumbersome name) is the new kid on the gossip block and writes for a younger, hipper audience than Mmes. Smith and Adams, and I enjoy her column very much. Especially when she mentions that my good friends, jewelers Anthony Camargo and Nak Armstrong at AnthonyNak, designed the engagement and wedding rings for the Dennis Quaid-Kimberly Buffington nuptials, which happened last Monday in Montana.
TONIGHT! TONIGHT! The good folks at Big Red Sun invite you to the Sunny & Chia Trunk Show from 6-9pm, featuring the homegrown works of Sunny Haralson and Chia Guillory, as well as shopping, music, and libations in a lush setting... You are invited to celebrate the 12th anniversary of Flipnotics, beginning today, Thursday, July 8, and continuing through Sunday, July 11, with their "Buy 1 item and get the 2nd item of equal or lesser value for 75% off!"
COMING UP Our friend Nick Rojeski of Project Transitions informs us that Friday, July 16, brings the Red Hot 13, 5-9pm at Oil Can Harry's to raise money for PT, a nonprofit agency that provides hospice and housing services for individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS in Central Texas. The event features an extensive complimentary buffet, silent auction, the Manwatch Dancers, happy hour until 10pm, great dance music with the fabulous DJ Licious and DJ Bang, and performances by the cast of Zachary Scott Theatre's Always ... Patsy Cline and the Austin Babtist Women. Suggested donation is $5, and more info can be had from Nick at 454-8646... Also, Grape Vine Market presents Wild at Heart on July 17, a wine and food tasting celebrating the outdoors and those who love hunting and fishing. With a portion of the proceeds going to the Coastal Conservation Association and Woods & Waters, the event will introduce the Wild River Winery's Mossy Oak Wild Game Blends to Central Texans. Grape Vine promises to have lots of friends of the hunting and fishing community in the store displaying their wares, cooking, and telling tall tales.
I worked for many years as an HIV- and AIDS-prevention counselor. At the age of 39, I had a heart attack and had to retire. This limited my work to volunteer service. I have been part of the United Court of Austin for over seven years now. I was Emperor IX of the Court. My Empress and I were able to raise over $50,000 for the community during our reign the third highest in raising funds to that date.
Originally, I am from a very small East Texas town called Troup. I moved to Austin in 1993 in order to survive. You see, back in small-town America, I was also very active with similar causes; needless to say, these issues were not very popular. So I was very glad to find Austin, a town I could call home with a group of people that I could consider family. My Austin family has been here through fun times and not so fun (for example, those times when my health throws me a new curve ball). My partner and I have been together for six years. We own a home, and I am just an average person who is health-challenged.
10 ounces Stokely's diced tomatoes with green chiles
5 1/2 ounces chopped garlic (Fiesta brand)
6 ounces tomato paste
14.5 ounces diced tomatoes in sauce
15 ounces petite diced tomatoes
15 ounces tomato sauce
10 to 12 Romano tomatoes or fresh garden tomatoes
3 ounces chili powder (fresh)
3 tablespoons mesa flour
3 cups total hot water
2 ounces ground cumin (Fiesta brand)
2 ounces Mexican oregano (Fiesta brand)
2 medium No. 1015 chopped sweet onions
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons Greek seasoning
1/2 cup Guinness Extra Stout beer
3/4 cup sugar in the raw
1 pound ground beef (27% fat)
1 pound ground chuck (20% fat)
1 pound ground round (15% fat)
Bring a large pot of water to boil, then place your 10 to 12 tomatoes in the water until you can remove the skin. Once the skin is removed and the tomatoes are cool enough, take your stockpot and squash the tomatoes. Add sugar in the raw, diced tomatoes with green chiles, tomato paste, petite diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and Guinness Extra Stout beer. At this time, turn the stockpot to a very low simmer. In a pan, sauté the ground beef, ground chuck, and ground round with two diced onions, chopped garlic, ground cumin, Mexican oregano, paprika, cayenne pepper, Greek seasoning, and chili powder. Once the meat is browned, drain any grease possible and add to the stockpot mixture, along with two cups of hot water. Bring to boil, and then let it simmer for about two to three hours. After the first two hours, take a hot cup of water and slowly sprinkle the mesa flour into the water while stirring. Slowly add the mixture to the stockpot, and keep stirring to insure that it does not lump up. Then continue to simmer on low for about 30 to 60 minutes. The chili is now ready to serve! If you like it hotter, add jalapeños: one pepper to the tomato stock for a two-alarm chili; two peppers for a serious three-alarm, can't-taste-coz-my-tongue's-on-fire chili. Personally, I prefer a great taste with a little kick, so I leave out the jalapeños.
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