I wish I’d taken a picture of my neighbor’s little dog this morning as he was standing next to the car his master was trying to get started. He kept lifting his front paws off the ground..first one for a few seconds..then the other..trying, I suppose, to keep them from permanently freezing right to the icy pavement. Unless they are pulling a sled in the Iditarod I’ve always thought owners putting coats and booties on their doggies was a little too precious but this poor pint-size pug could sure have used a couple pair..and a parka too.
I couldn’t believe the thermometer on Big Red as I backed out of the garage and headed downtown to record a promo for Keloland. It went from ten above to ten below in ten seconds. My god..this is nuts. Its days like this when I like to make up a big batch of hot chili.(Hot as in temperature not on fire with peppers) I won’t say that I’m famous for my chili but people do seem to like it. In fact, way back when the South Dakota Beef Council was putting out cookbooks featuring favorite beef recipes from various personalities and politicians, I submitted my chili concoction and received lots of positive comments. I’m even told that the restaurant at Falls Park uses the recipe from that book. So, when I got home, I started going through the cupboard to see if I had all the necessary ingredients to make a batch. Hamburger..check, Onions & garlic..check, canned tomatoes and tomato soup..check. Chili powder and other spices..check, beans..both chili and kidney..check. I know, sounds pretty basic doesn’t it? I also know that Chili purists scoff at the notion of using beans. They also insist that real chili is made with chucks of meat not ground beef. Well, I’ve had it that way and still prefer my own.
There have been times when I’ve had to make my own chili powder when I ran out of the boughten stuff. It turned out great and helped me clean out some of the herbs and spices that have been in the cupboard since receiving them as a wedding gift 27 years ago. I also make sure to use precisely 239 beans in my chili because if there was just one more it would be too farty! Uffdah, I do apologize for that awful old joke but couldn’t resist. So, Lund, what sets your chili apart from everyone elses? I think it’s probably the brown sugar. I use quite a bit of it..maybe a half cup or more. I never measure. That’s it. The rest is pretty much impromptu; for example today there was some left-over bloody Mary mix in the fridge so I tossed that in. Sometimes I’ll dice up some celery or green peppers and sauté that with the onions and garlic. I’ll add a half cup of wine if I have it and a squirt of yellow mustard if I remember. After that, it’s simply taste and add what you think it needs. Just now I thought it might need that shot of mustard but only had honey mustard and used it. I wished I hadn’t. Hopefully, another hour on simmer and it will blend right in. Oh, who am I kiddin’ I can’t wait an hour.
I’ll bet many of you have a favorite chili recipe you’d care to share..please feel free to do so in the comments.
Keep warm and bon appetite!