On Friday afternoon, I went to lunch at Mellow Mushroom with my friends, Traci and Kelly. We hit on all the typical topics -- our significant others, our jobs, and our friends. None of us expected to end up in Winston-Salem, and we've all pondered moving elsewhere. However with each passing week, it becomes more difficult for me to imagine packing my life into boxes and essentially starting over. I'm not saying I want to live here for the rest of my life, but the idea of doing so no longer terrifies me. My shift in attitude can certainly be attributed to many things, from finding an amazing yoga instructor to playing soccer in a adult league, all of which help me feel more connected and a part of my community. But having good friends locally was by far the biggest game changer. It took over a year before Jason and I found a solid group of friends with whom we could share our lives. Finding friends as adults is not easy -- there aren't new classes every semester providing built-in friendship-making opportunities. And I would feel a little weird walking over to our unknown neighbors with a soccer ball, asking if anyone wanted to come outside to play with me!
Kelly remarked that having friends changed her entire perception of Winston - she could walk into a weekend with no plans at all and go to sleep Sunday night wondering where her entire weekend had gone. This weekend was just another good example of this friendship phenomenon. Saturday night twelve of us took part in a Chili Cook Off, hosted at our lovely stone house. There were eight different chilies to sample, ranging from mild to spicy and including chicken, turkey, beef, and lamb. Brian's chili came in first place, and it was my personal favorite.
I hope to post links to all the recipes within the week!
Brian's Champion Chili
Turkey Chili w/Kidney + Navy Beans
Turkey Pumpkin Chili
An Indian Twist on Lamb Chili
Spicy Beef Chili