Yabba Dabba Chili

How has Dino been? and how has Fred Flintstone’s job been going at the rock quarry?

Those were some of the questions that people asked husband and wife Bob and Kelly Guptil of Princeton at their Princeton chili fest booth last Saturday.

The Guptils played along with the questions. After all, they were out to portray the famous Flintstone couple from the 1960’s animated TV series of that name, as they poured chili samples. What was also different about their booth, which won the honor of best decorated booth at this year’s Princeton Area Chamber of Commerce chili fest, was that it had two different chili entries.

Every other booth at the chili fest had only one entry in the competition for best chili. Kelly had chili entry no. 2, classified as the herbivore chili with no meat, while Bob had chili entry no. 3, which had meat and was labeled carnivore.

Kelly got the idea to have the couple enter in the chili fest after seeing an ad for it in their utility bill.

“I thought it would be fun,” Kelly said, explaining that Sept. 22, the day of the chili fest, happened to be the day after the birthday of Bob and also their son Garren, 4.

Bob agreed some weeks ago that it would be fun and the planning began.

Kelly and Bob had for some time been making their separate chili versions, reflecting Kelly, the vegetarian, and Bob, the meat eater. They decided because of that they would enter accordingly in the chili fest.

There are some major differences right off the top between their chili recipes. His chili has no beans, while hers has four kinds of beans, as well as apples, prunes, onions, corn, tomatoes and three kinds of sweet bell peppers.

His also has corn and onions, plus stewed tomatoes and tomato paste, but also has hamburger, chicken and steak pieces, mushrooms, seasoning and then what he calls his “real ingredient,” beer.

The two did think about the few hundred dollars they would have to spend for all the ingredients for each to make eight gallons of chili. But Kelly suggested that the two could look at it as a “very nice date night” though it would be four hours during the afternoon.

Bob was asked if he could ever envision becoming a vegetarian like Kelly and he said, “Possibly,” but added that he has “never laid off meat.”

Kelly explained that she is not a vegan, or a person who does not even eat dairy products. She’s the kind of vegetarian that eats dairy products, eggs and fish, besides vegetables, and she has stuck with it for 19 years so far.

Kelly said she was motivated to become a vegetarian by a friend who, while being a vegetarian for a long time, has kept in good health. Kelly decided it would be doable and has not turned back. Plus, as Bob said, “She thinks it is morally wrong to eat another being.”

Also, she feels that eating meat makes more of an impact on the environment, but added that she doesn’t preach to anyone about being a vegetarian. “Obviously, I married a carnivore,” she said.

She notes that she cooks meat for him and that he will eat some of the vegetarian things she makes. “She’s got some good ones,” Bob said of her vegetarian dishes.

Kelly, originally from Edina, and Bob, from Zimmerman, met eight years ago when she was a realtor and he was a plumber.

Now the couple has an indoor beach volleyball business with three volleyball courts in Crystal.

And how did they land on the Flintstones act for their chili booth?

The Guptils really didn’t answer that other than saying that they agreed that they could look the parts of Fred and Wilma Flintstone with just a little preparation.

Kelly and Bob agreed prior to the chili fest that Bob would be “playing to win the chili” competition while she would be working to win the best booth. Bob predicted that she would attain her goal, and was right, as the booth did take that honor at the chili fest.

And the answers they gave to some of the questions they received from attendees of the chili fest, regarding their portraying Fred and Wilma Flintstone?

Well, Fred did talk about life at the quarry and in regard to their dinosaur dog Dino, the Flintstone couple said they have gone through four Dinos so far.

The whole experience was “awesome,” Kelly said.