Saturday, February 28, 2009


For the past many years, our school has held a carnival for our children and families one day about this time of year. It is called the Tigerfest. I was trying to remember how many years it has been an event here, but one year mixes into another anymore. We didn't start it until three or four years into my being the principal.

One year, I volunteered to make green chili meat for one of the grade levels to sell. It was a big hit and from that day on, I have fixed green chili meat and beans for this event. The first few years I cooked the meat, pulled it apart, and then froze the meat until Tigerfest time. It took me the better part of a month to get this done. All of the family helped. Over the years, it became too big a job to do this for such a big event. So our wonderful parents helped by cooking the meat and stringing it for me.

The past several years, I have made anywhere between 100 and 125 pounds of green chili meat for green chili burros and 10 pounds of pinto beans for bean burros.

It takes an entire day to make the green chili meat even when it has been cooked and pulled apart. I have to do this on the Friday before the Tigerfest. Yesterday morning one of our wonderful parents brought 100 pounds of cooked and strung roast over to my house. I got started making the meat into green chili about 9:00. My friend, Martha, brought a salad and bread over for lunch while I was cooking. It was so wonderful to visit with her and know how well she is doing in her fight with breast cancer. She looks awesome and has such a wonderfully upbeat attitude. I admire her very much!!!

I have actually gotten quite efficient over the years and have it down to a system, so to speak. I finished the meat about 3:30. It filled four large roaster ovens. We took it to the cafeteria kitchen in the early evening, plugged the roasters in, turned the roasters on to keep the meat warm through the night, and I went home to start the beans. I cooked the beans on low all night and got up around 5:30 to check on them. They weren't quite done, so I turned them up and went back to try to sleep for another hour or so. I finished them up and got them to school around 8:30 so that the volunteers could start fixing the burros to sell.

This is really fun for me to be able to make this contribution to our school. I don't have any musical or artistic talent. This is the closest thing for me to one of those talents. It is fun to see former parents who have come to the carnival for some of the burros. I feel that the Tigerfest is one of the best times for our kids and families and does so much to enhance the wonderful community that our school is.

Today was a beautiful day with the weather being perfect. We had a huge turnout. Children of all ages were there and having a great time. Many of the grade levels sponsored booths. They had old fashioned games like soda pop spin and fish pond. In this day and age of everything electronic, it was fun to watch the kids play these "old" games and have such a good time. I think that the most popular booth was the "fake injury" booth. The kids absolutely loved that one. I think Cameron had a bandage on every possible place. He was so excited all week for Tigerfest.One of the other traditions that we have had for the past several year is a drawing for a student to be "Principal for the Day." Kids had to bring in two liters of pop to get a ticket to be drawn for this. I always look forward to the day that the student gets to be "my helper." It is amazing how excited the kids are for this.

A the end of the day today, there were some burros left. So we had "clearance burros" for sale. I guess with the state of the economy as it is today, "clearance burros" would fit right in perfectly. The good part is that the clearance items went quickly!!

When I got home I was very tired, but it is a "good" tired! It was a great day at our school today and I am so glad I to be a part of it. Thanks to all of the parents, teachers, and staff who worked so tirelessly to make this such a successful day!

2 remarks:

Dottie said...

Sheila, Your burros ARE the drawing card to Tigerfest!!! They were absolutely DELICIOUS!!!! Yum!!! What a great event you allow to happen for our kids and families!!! You're the BEST PRINCIPAL (AND FRIEND!!!) EVER!!!
Lots of love, Dottie

Anonymous said...

That IS a great tradition ~ and sad when it's over. Glad you also had fun with Martha and could help her with her music on her blog.
Love & hugs,