Rainbow Girls hold first Chili Cook-Off
By PAMELA GRANT
The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls (or Rainbow Girls) held their 1st Chili Cook-Off at Mt. Hiram Masonic Lodge on Saturday. The cook-off featured seven types of chili, each with their own unique touches.
Many judges had difficulty determining which one was their favorite while others had fourths, fifths, or even sixths of their favorites.
Everyone who entered received a ladle full of Hershey’s Kisses. The winner received a golden ladle and a $25 gift card to Chili’s.
Bill Chenoweth, Worshipful Master for the Lodge, won the competition. He said that he didn’t plan on winning, but thought it was neat that he did win.
“Personally, I think it’s because of the type of meat that I use,” said Chenoweth who used deer and elk in his chili. “I think the preparation of the meat has a lot to do with the flavor. If you’re not careful, certain ingredients off-set each other. I’m real careful. A lot of people put way too much chili powder, too much garlic, that kind of thing. I put very little of both and yet you can still taste them. If I had to say a secret ingredient, I’d say cumin.”
Chenoweth said that one of the big reasons he entered the competition was to support the Rainbow Girls and to encourage other lodge members to enter as well.
“We thought it was a really good idea,” said Tom Cumming. Cumming and his wife entered a chili into the competition. “I sampled several of [the chilis]. Every one of them is a little different. It’s going to be really hard to decide.”
Annabella Jorstad (13), Worthy Advisor for the Rainbow Girls, said she loves competitions and trying other people’s dishes, so she thought a chili cook-off would be an excellent idea. She added that she really loves chili which made the idea even more appealing.
Funds raised by the cook-off portion of the event will go toward helping local Rainbow Girls (Waco Assembly #18) to attend the annual Rainbow Girls conference in Waco this July. The event also included a raffle to raise money for the Food Pantry in Kempner.
“They work hard to pull these things off. They plan everything and decide what they’re going to do. The adults try to guide them, but they are here serving the food, and making sure people show up, and inviting their friends and family,” said Lisa Jorstad, Mother Advisor for the Rainbow Girls. “[Being a Rainbow Girl] does teach you how to be a leader first and foremost…They learn to feel confident talking in front of people, and work helping the community. It just gives them an appreciation for doing good.”
Rainbow Girls accept girls ages 11-20. The organization works to teach girls about leadership, etiquette, confidence, and helping their community.
Annabella Jorstad said that she likes getting to meet Rainbow Girls from the other jurisdictions during the annual meetings. She said that they get to learn from each other and help each other to grow. She said that she’s grown a lot since becoming a member.
“In the beginning, I was really shy and quiet,” said Jorstad. “Now everyone says I’m really outgoing and I’m really responsible.”
The Rainbow Girls meet at the Masonic Lodge on the first and third Saturdays of each month at 1 p.m. Those interested in joining or finding out more about the group are welcome to stop by