A Fine Day for Chili

Out on my morning run, I saw a couple deer mating. And I knew it was going to be a good day.

For it was the Saturday of the Topanga Chili Cook-Off and Swap Meet, which my friend Nonie — who is on the board of the Community Club — had coerced me into entering.

Tom and his chili paddle

Tom and his chili paddle

Last year, I was a judge alongside my pal Ernie. There were two chilis entered, neither of which were very good. “I think the best chili was the one they were selling at the concession,” I said to the gal running the event.

“But that came from a can!” she protested. More

Don’t Try This at Home

Even as long as I’ve been cooking, I’m still guilty on a regular basis of stupid kitchen injuries and snafus. I try to tell my children, when they cook with me, to learn from my mistakes. I show them the assortment of current cuts and burns on my hands as a cautionary tale. Perhaps they’ll learn the lessons of their father, or perhaps they’ll learn the hard way.

Don't let a shark bite off the tip of your nose!

Don’t let a tiny kitchen shark bite off the tip of your nose!

Here is a list of culinary “Don’t”s — dumb kitchen mistakes that I find myself repeating over and over. I share them with you in the hopes you might have more common sense than I and avoid them. Or at least get a laugh at my misfortune. More