Debbie Bollin won the award for the Best Tasting. (Photo: Terry Bollin)
Marci Collier scavenged far and wide to find the best envelopes for the prizes for the chili cook-off winners. (Contributed photo)
There was a great turnout for the chili cook-off held at Leisure Shores. (Contributed photo)
Seniors cook up award-winning chili
By Dr. Ginger Gabriel
Special to The Alpine Mountaineer
Leisure Shores, the Crest Forest senior citizens center on the beautiful shores of Lake Gregory, was a marvelous setting for the first chili cook-off of 2023.
The invitation went out to all 287 members of the senior citizens club. Several former winners of pre-COVID chili cook-offs realized they were going to be challenged by some of the new members. It was rumored that some new members had phenomenal recipes.
Each club member received an opportunity ticket as they arrived at the event. The chefs – who brought pots full of chili – registered their entries in one of three categories in the hopes of winning a cash prize.
The winners received $20 and all those who entered got Super Lotto tickets. The best part was the prizes came in vintage Elvis stamp envelopes.
Among the side dishes that claimed much attention was the cornbread. Marci Collier said she ate a lot of cornbread: six different varieties. Each variety had its own flavor and texture. “There was soft, crusty, tasty, sweet and chunky,” Collier said. “The best was Debbie’s honey and butter layered cornbread,” was the compliment paid to Debbie Bollin by her husband, Terry. Debbie and Terry were recently recognized as Crest Forest’s Senior Volunteers of the Year.
Penny Shubnell laughed at Collier admitting to eating so much. “We ate through the pain,” Shubnell said, referring to their stomachs hurting from eating so much.
Collier was amazed at how many club members showed up and had so much fun. “We will be having a lot more potlucks,” she said. “We all like having a party and this was a great big one. No one wanted to leave. Everyone stayed an hour after it was supposed to be over. It was a good party.”
For the last 16 years, the Crest Forest Senior Citizens Club has been serving hot meals to seniors over the age of 60 and are continuing to do so. “We serve every Tuesday and Thursday at Lake Gregory’s San Moritz Lodge, weather permitting,” Shubnell noted, adding there is always free parking. Live music and great conversations begin at 11:30 with the meals served at noon.
During the week at Leisure Shores there is line dancing, tap dancing, yoga, tai chi, cardmaking, book clubs, Oldies But Goodies, Bunco, art classes and helpful tips on how to be a successful senior, offered by Marilynn Jordan. The senior bowlers meet on Thursdays at the bowling alley.
Membership for the Crest Forest Senior Citizens is available for those 50 and older. For more information, call Leisure Shores at (909) 338-5036 or call Ye Old Thrift Shop at (909) 338-5413. Join the club so you don’t miss the next party