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Veronique de Turenne

Chili in the air

This week, it's all about the Chili Cook-off here in Malibu. It's our countdown to the end of summer traffic and the start of the Christmas shopping season. sign
The Malibu Kiwanis have been busy. Someone pulled that wonderful homemade Chili Cook-off sign out of storage, cleaned it up and it's standing again at the corner of Webb Way and PCH, the way it has every August for years. (Click for a larger version.)

The ticket booths are taking shape and an amusement park's worth of rides has arrived. There'll be trinkets for sale, a petting zoo, games of chance, a raffle, and stands selling the kind of carnival food that makes those nervous nellies at the Center for Science in the Public Interest clutch their blood pressure cuffs in alarm.

And then there's the Cook-off. It's nice to imagine the dozens of chili experts out there, amassing their spices, prepping their gear and making one more tiny tweak to their chili. It'll be ever better, white plastic spoon in hand, flimsy paper napkin at the ready, to dig in and taste it.

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