Is there no end to Merle Larson’s kitchen tyranny?


As loyal readers know, Central Minnesota’s DFLers have struggled for years to remove the pepper-fisted hand of Merle Larson from its grip on the Meeker County DFL Chili championship. They succeeded one year–when U.S. Representative Collin Peterson served as a judge and selected the mildest chili ever made.

Larson used his powerful position as county party treasurer  behind the scenes to change the contest rules and so has tightened his grip on the crown even further.

There is no end to his man’s kitchen tyranny–and few of us ever receive another helping of his winning chili when we go back for seconds.

Larson’s bean bullying is spreading to other parts of Greater Minnesota. In March, he took the SD 29/30 DFL Cookoff Best Chili honors back to his home near sunny Dassel. He refused the people’s demands for his recipes.

Local media has begun to expose the empire Larson built with batches of pork-based stew. Read bottom-scraping muckraking here and here.

Fortunately, the oppressed progressives in the Mayo City are stirring the pot. Not content to wait a full year to flush the outside ruling champ from their midst, they’re staging a demonstration of their on culinary organizing on November 7, 5:00-9:00 p.m. at the IBEW Hall south of Rochester.

And they’re sweetening the prize by reviving a traditional chocolate challenge.

Local freedom fighter Diane Hellie sent Bluestem this appeal to activists–from organizer Katherine Spear, Hellie tells BSP in a corrective comment below– to join her in the struggle:


The time is here again to whip up your most famous Chili, Chocolate Desert or both and see if you can knock off the winner from last year. Nancy Larson’s husband toppled me last year for the Chili title so I’m really gearing up to win the title back. Who thinks they can beat me or him???????

We bringing back the Chocolate Event this year also. So I’m thinking strongly of a great Chocolate item. I won that a couple of years ago so I’m sending out a challenge to all of you to try to claim the titles for one or both categories.

A new addition this year is a DISPLAY YOUR TALENTS. If you have items that you have created please bring them to display at Cook Off. Our own Mary Jones has agreed to display her award winning Quilt. (and it isn’t for sale). So bring your creations and let us all admire your talents.

Our famous silent auction is also part of the evening. Your welcome to bring items for the auction.

Invite your family and friends to join this special, fun evening.

Questions please contact Mary Petersson, 507-286-1061, or myself.

For those of you perfecting your chili and chocolate recipes, here are the categories:

Candidates choice for best chili

Candidates choice for best chocolate dessert

Best mild chili

Best medium chili

Best hot chili

Best vegetarian chili

Best chili overall

Best tasting chocolate dessert

Best looking chocolate dessert

Looking forward to your challenges and a great fun filled evening as we judge the entries and visit with governor hopefuls

Umm. Chocolate.

Bluestem has detected a rise in Facebook chatter among the progressive DFL chilista. Mild champ Liz McLoone Dybvig is tweeking her mild recipe, and Laura Askelin reports that she has a new recipe that’s a sure contender.

To honor these brave cooks, Bluestem dedicates this Bob Marley classic: Stir It Up!