I'm way behind on posts, but I wanted to add a note about today's very special challenge. We are using our considerable talents for good, and have designed an eating challenge to benefit a local food pantry. Each contestant will provide 10 cans of food, and bring $10. The cans will be entered into a general pool, and one-by-one they will be put up for auction. Each round, each contestant must purchase and eat one item, using their $10 budget. We will go through as many rounds as necessary until only one person finishes the can they just purchased.
Of course there's a twist. Although five cans must be purchased off a list of approved items, the other five can be any safe-to-eat canned food 1 lb or less. Nine of the cans must be purchased at a major grocery chain, but one may be purchased at the ethnic food store of your choice. And of course, only a small fraction of items will be unveiled each round, so some items will be bid on knowing only their size and shape and not their contents.
At the end of the challenge, all the auction money ($10/person) and leftover cans will be donated to a food pantry. Now you might say, "Wait, that means that every can you eat you are taking away from charity?" This would be true, if not for your help. Non-participants can sponsor a contestant by promising that for every can the contestant completes, they will donate one to the cause. For every sponsor, the contestant is awarded an extra dollar for the auction process. So get in the holiday spirit, and give someone every reason to choke down that last can of pickled artichokes.