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Soup, Stew, Chili & Brew

Secret recipe earns Xi Beta Upsilon
win at chamber cook-off

Darlene Morgan’s sauce
is an old German family recipe

By Konnie McCollum
Staff Writer

(October 2008) – More than 25 years ago, Darlene Morgan’s co-worker gave her a special recipe for a chili sauce that would make any chili lover rave. Armed with that secret recipe, Morgan created a batch of chili for her Xi Beta Upsilon Sorority that earned them the victory in that category at last year’s annual Madison Area Chamber of Commerce’s Soup, Stew, Chili and Brew Festival.

Xi Beta Upsilon booth

Photo provided

Last year at the Soup, Stew,
Chili and Brew cooking competiton,
social sorority Xi Beta Upsilon won
the chili competition. Their
booth is pictured above.

Competitors should be warned. Morgan will again make her special recipe chili for Xi Beta Upsilon at the sixth annual Soup, Stew, Chili and Brew competition on Oct. 11. The event runs from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. along Main Street from Jefferson to West streets in downtown Madison, Ind.
There are four categories in the competition in which participants compete for small trophies and bragging rights. Those categories are: soups, homemade stews, chili and non-alcoholic brews, such as cider and coffees.
Xi Beta Upsilon is only one of close to 25 teams that will be competing in the annual competition. From the first event in 2003, the outdoor food and music festival has been a popular fundraiser for community groups.
Other competitors this year will include Hanover United Methodist Church, the Ulster Project, King’s Daughters’ Hospital and Health Services’ Home Health and Hospice, First Christian Church, Madison Elks Lodge, the Schafer Family, and Hickory Creek at Madison. Hodges said the competition is open to any business or individual.
Morgan, 65, said she was given the old German-family chili sauce recipe by a co-worker nearly 25 years ago. “I never wrote it down,” she said. “I’ve just always made it from memory.”

Entertainment Schedule

• 11-11:45 a.m.: Freddie Shimfessel
• Noon-12:45 p.m.: Andra, Jack & John (Singer Andra Bladen with Jack Ulery and John Walburn)
• 1-1:45 p.m.: Blues Devils
• 2-2:45 p.m.: MP3 (12-year-old Madison Porter)
• 3-3:45 p.m.: Rusty Bladen
• 4-4:45 p.m.: Samesoul

She makes the sauce in the summer using fresh ingredients from her garden. She then cans it for later use. “It is an all-day process to put the sauce together,” she said. “It then has to cook down for over three hours to thicken.” She wouldn’t divulge exactly what was in the sauce.
Morgan, who drives a school bus for Madison Consolidated Schools, said she was at a sorority meeting last year when a volunteer was needed to cook the chili. “My family and the guys down at the funeral home have been telling me for years to enter my chili into a contest. So, I decided to give it a try.” Morgan’s husband, George, is co-owner of Morgan and Nay Funeral Centre, 325 Demaree Dr.
Xi Beta Upsilon, a chapter of the international organization Beta Sigma Phi, has been involved in community events in Madison for more than three decades. The sorority sponsors the annual Madison Regatta Miss Madison Scholarship Pageant. It also fundraisers for the youth shelter, special needs children and children with medical difficulties. “We are small but strong,” said Xi Beta Upsilon Treasurer Linda Ralston. “We are a social sorority dedicated to helping our community.” Currently, there are about 12 members.
In addition to the cooking competition at the Soup, Stew, Chili and Brew Festival, there will be a variety of family friendly activities, including a corn-hole tournament and two giant inflatables for children. There will also be live music throughout the festival.
“This is one of the most popular events offered by the chamber,” said Madison Area Chamber of Commerce marketing and event coordinator Laura Hodges. “The weather usually makes it a wonderful time to get out and simply enjoy a fall day downtown.”
Last year’s festival was the largest and most successful, Hodges said. “We ran out of tickets. We have increased our order significantly this year.”
More than 14,000 tickets were sold at $1 each at the fundraising event. This year, 20,000 tickets will be available.
She said this year’s music lineup promises to be one of the best. Several local favorites, including Rusty Bladen, the Blues Devils, Madison Porter and Andra Bladen will be performing.

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