Yesterday my parent's church had their annual chili cookoff fundraiser. Last year there had been about 5 or 6 entries and about 30 people had shown up for the chili dinner afterward. I won second place in the category of hottest and first place in the category of best tasting last year. I had a blast doing it too.
This year I decided to enter again, and I was discussing it with my mom. She pointed out that she'd be babysitting "Michael" that day. Since he enjoys cooking with me mom pointed out that I'd probably end up with help. Then my mom said that she thought it'd be cute for Michael to enter the cookoff. I loved the idea and ran with it.
I realized that if I helped with Michael's chili too much then it would taste too much like mine, so I had to figure out what to do. I sent my dad to the store to buy what he thought should go in a pot of chili. I got some stuff from my mom that she bought when she had been considering entering in the cookoff herself. And then I raided the cupboard for stuff that I thought might go in chili.
Thursday night I put some beans on to soak for the 2 pots of chili. Friday I cooked them off and put my chili together, since it needs to cook for a full day before it's done. I set Michael's beans aside for him.
On Saturday morning I set out everything that we had for Michael's chili, and then I put the boy to work. My dad had bought one of those big, horseshoe shaped sausages to use for this, so I gave it to Michael to cut up. He can only use a butter knife for now (I really need to go get a safety knife), but he's getting pretty good at it. I then sat Michael on the counter next to the stove and let him start putting stuff in his chili. He's getting pretty good at helping open cans, and his stirring skills are greatly improved.
When all was said and done Michael had a decent looking pot of chili. We took his and mine to the church and dropped them off for judging while we went shopping. We went back to the church for the dinner. When it came time for the awards I got some funny looks as to why I was dragging a 3 year old up for them, but it was worth it. Michael got third place in the category of best tasting. It was so much fun.