Sunday, April 19, 2009

Get a Fresh Made Bagel in Downtown Asheboro

The Bagel Shop is on Fayetteville Street in downtown Asheboro, NC.

Select from many delicious varieties and all made fresh in the Bagel Shop.

Bryan Vaughan opened and operates the Bagel Shop. Really nice guy.

I checked out The Bagel Shop in Asheboro, North Carolina this weekend. The owner, Bryan Vaughan, put together the town festival - a Chili Cook Out (April 2009). I was asked to help judge the chili, and we were home based in the shop.

My son didn't get to attend the Chili Cook Off, since he was helping with the Kennedy Hall Legion yard sale fundraiser. He loves bagels, so I thought I'd bring him home a treat.

Wow! These are some massive bagels. If you've only had bagels bagged at the grocery store, you don't know what you're missing. I like bagels in general, but Bryan's bagels are . . . WOW!

You know how bagels can be kind of rubbery tasting? Well, you don't get that texture at The Bagel Shop. Nope. These bagels are made fresh while you're watching, and they are nice and crusty outside and melt in your mouth tender inside. It's like the difference between getting a loaf of bread at the store and making your own sourdough bread. You don't know what you're missing, until you get the good stuff.

The Bagel Shop is right in downtown Asheboro. If you're on 64, then turn on South Park Street there at the school. This is also the area with the fast food joints and gas stations. Keep going on Park Street until you see Sunset. Turn right on Sunset and then hang a left on Fayetteville. The Bagel Shop is there on the left. You're just a couple of minutes off Highway 64. Very easy to get there.

The Bagel Shop is open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. It's a great place for breakfast or lunch. And, you'll want to buy some bagels to take home too. They are really terrific.

Asheboro Chili Cook Off a Blazing Hot Success - April 2009

Residents of Asheboro, NC and visitors from all over enjoyed trying out the homemade chili at the First Annual Chili Cook Off.

This guy knows how to bring out the flavor. He has his hot chilis firing up the grill. Yum! Smells good and hot.

It takes a lot of time and stirring to make big pots of chili.

It did not take long for all this chili to disappear.

These young chili cooks were so personable that folks kept coming back just to say "hi."

The first ever (April 2009) Chili Cook Off in Asheboro, North Carolina was great fun. There were 20,000 to 30,000 people there who can attest to that as estimated by the police department.

Bryan Vaughan, the owner of the local Bagel Shop, came up with the idea to host the cook off. Forbes magazine had called Asheboro a dying town, and he decided to show them there's still plenty of life in this small Southern town which has been hit by the bad economy just like almost every other town in the state.

Residents of Asheboro got behind and excited about the festival, and several local businesses stepped up to sponsor the event.

The Chili Cook Off ran all day with the cooks setting up early in the morning and then the crowds rolling in around lunch time. The various chili chefs and groups handed out samples while live music on the stage had many dancing in the street which was closed off for the event.

I spent much of the afternoon at the Bagel Shop judging the chili entries along with the mayor of Asheboro, David Jarrell, Chris of Two Guys Named Chris from Rock 92, and "The Package" (the original Rhythm & Blues Comic) who wore his hot chili shirt.

Around 5 p.m. the winner of the contest was announced. Kevin Hill and Phillip Crawford had won us over, although we didn't have a clue who made the first rate chili. Turns out it was Kevin, the local butcher who owns Fresh Cuts there in Asheboro where residents can get meat cut to order as well as fresh seafood. Who would guess that the local butcher could make such a great bowl of chili? Perhaps he should sell chili in addition to meat.

There was also a Hot Head contest. They used high technology to image the heat on contestants. Two guys made it to the hottest level. Everyone thought the young guy who was sweating buckets was going to take it, but sweat cools the body down, so his levels dropped while the non-sweater was putting out the hot vibes. Someone cooled the Hot Heads down with buckets of water after the contest - whew - relief.

At the end of the night, one lucky lady won mortgage payments for a year on the raffle held throughout the day. Now. That's a grand prize for sure.

This was the first time Asheboro held the Chili Fun Day, and I hope that it will be an annual tradition. It was small town fun at its finest. People of all ages were out on a sunny day relaxing and enjoying good food and music. It was like a Southern family reunion instead of being organized to death. If a little kid got excited and jumped on the stage - no big deal. Someone snagged the kid, and the band members smiled and played on.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Getting Ready for the Asheboro Chili Cook Off - And I'm Going to be a Chili Judge

Eating Light Tonight. Judging a Chili Contest in Asheboro Tomorrow.

Greta Lint recruited me to be a judge at the great Asheboro Chili Cook Off tomorrow (April 18, 2009).

I'm coming up on the last week of classes and then exams, so I was not thinking on a road trip. But, I just can't pass up homemade chili. Yum!

Someone at worked asked me how I'd clean my palate with 40 chilis to try. The answer to that question is water. If the heat on one fries my taste buds, I'll break and have a soda cracker. Then, it's spoon to bowl again.

Others at the festival will be able to have beer. Asheboro has just passed a law for alcohol. That doesn't work so well for judging though, because you:

A. Get too full too fast.
B. Decide every bowl is fabulous and award everyone first place.
C. Wake up on the street in Ashboro the next morning wondering where's the nearest bathroom.

Speaking of the bathroom, I'm sure they'll have plenty of porta-potties. Unfortunately, I do not do well with those. The boys laughed and pretended they did not know me at the Lexington Barbecue festival, because I would go in one and come busting out coughing, gagging and not having gone. Then, I'd have to wait in line again and pray for a better smelling one.

I have come up with the perfect plan for that porta-potty problem. I stopped at Harris Teeter and got a pack of Immodium. This is not something I use (which is why I had to stop at the store), so the plan may backfire. Also, I suppose it will not help if I go too heavy on the water between bowls of chili. It is also possible that I may have to make a Sunday run to Harris Teeter for Ex-Lax. We shall see.

The other thing I am thinking on is - What to wear? This is girl pattern behavior. But, it could factor in. If I wear my hot low rider jeans along with taking Immodium, I may have to unbutton the button, and that would not look very professional. So, I am thinking it will be loose jeans (and do I have any after working all winter on a summer grill feature for Consumers Digest?) or elastic pants.

Given that it's supposed to be hot and sunny tomorrow and in view of the fact that the make up lady down at Belks tells me I'm a 2 (pale - for those who do not know), I suppose I will have to wear a hat. Hats do not become me, and I suffer greatly from hat head with my fine hair. Better than burned I suppose. I think I'll wear the one in the photo, so you can find me at the Asheboro Chili Cook Off. Just look for the woman in stretch pants, running out the door of the porta-potty, wearing a camoflauge hat. Once I catch my breath, tell me "hi."

I plan to go early and also plan to take my son's new TomTom GPS. Hopefully I do not end up at Bojangles, because the best I can tell that is his main program in there. Every Bojangles in every city comes up on his GPS map. Go figure. No gas stations. No hospitals. Just Bojangles.

The Asheboro Chili Cook Off is a full blown street festival, so I am also looking forward to hearing the music, checking out the kids playing in the Kid's Zone, and watching the Hot Head Contest. I'll have to buy a raffle ticket too, because the winner gets $8000 or up to $1000 a month toward mortgage payments for a year.

OK. Enough blabbing. I need to go take that Immodium (or maybe you do that in the morning - need to find reading glasses and check directions) and also must see about pants that allow room for eating 40 bowls of chili.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Yard Sale in Rowan County, NC - Kennedy Hall Legion Post 106

If you live in or close Rowan County, NC (that's in the Salisbury, NC area), make plans to visit Kennedy Hall Legion Post 106 on April 18, 2009 for a big yard sale.

The Legion members have collected items for the yard sale, and they also are renting yard sale booths at 20 x 20 feet for $15. If you rent a space, then you get to keep all your own profits. The contact for space is Randy at 704-431-4169.

The guys are making and selling breakfast as well. I've heard they are thinking about sausage biscuits. They are thinking that this will be mostly a morning project, but I don't have the exact hours yet.

If it does happen to rain, they have a nice building and also a shelter, so this is rain or shine.

This was my Dad's Legion Post, and I have so many memories of the things that Kennedy Hall Legion did for the community over the years. I always loved to go see Santa Claus at the Legion and get a treat bag, and the Easter Egg hunts were the highlight of Spring. My boys enjoyed these same activities after I moved back to the area.

The group also sponsors kids for Boys and Girls State. I had the opportunity to attend Girls State through Kennedy Hall Legion, and my son went to Boys State. They also offer yearly scholarships. All four kids in my family were awarded those and also my oldest son. The younger one is still in high school.

Kennedy Hall will always hold a real special place in my heart even though my Dad died in an accident on I77. The members and families at the Legion have always made it clear that we're still "family."

If you are close, do come out. You will find great deals, nice people, and help support good causes which are especially important during lean times.

Kennedy Hall American Legion is on Highway 801 with a Salisbury address, but most people will tell you it's basically in Woodleaf, NC. You get on Highway 70 or Statesville Blvd on the stretch between Salisbury and Statesville, NC. The turn for 801 is about half way between the two towns - around 12 miles either way. You can't turn wrong on 801, because there's only one direction to turn for that road. Drive a mile or less, and Kennedy Hall Legion is on the left. It's back off the road a bit with trees. The driveway loops, and there's plenty of parking.