Ken Mapes and his wife Virginia enjoy a bowl of chili Thursday afternoon during an annual chili cookoff at the Greenwood YMCA. Virginia Mapes won first prize for the second year in a row.
Ken Mapes and his wife Virginia enjoy a bowl of chili Thursday afternoon during an annual chili cookoff at the Greenwood YMCA. Virginia Mapes won first prize for the second year in a row.
Virginia Mapes remembers eating her mother's chili for years while growing up in rural New York on the coast of northern Pennsylvania.
The recipe called for a can of tomatoes, onions, ground beef, an occasional green pepper and a dash of Crystal City seasoning.
Mapes cooked up a variant of her family's Empire State stew Thursday and won the second chili cook-off at the Greenwood Family YMCA. It was her second consecutive year winning the cook-off, which was hosted by the Y's Senior Adults program.
Mapes transplanted to South Carolina's Upstate from Upstate New York with her husband, Ken, about 10 years ago. Both were on hand Thursday to enjoy the collection of entrants, which included eight pots of chili. She said her secret ingredient was a special tomato sauce that blended in a sweeter taste, the lone modification from her mother's recipe.

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