When I've got too much to say - I don't blog.
Sometimes, there is just no getting the balance right...
My recent silence has been a case of the latter: too much goodness. Which is quite a nice problem to have. These past few days have been just lovely - and it's been fun getting up each morning to see what new is in store. Fall can do that to you can't it?
While I try to organize my thoughts, and figure out how to talk about all the stuff I want to share without overwhelming everyone* - 'cause really, admit it, when you go to visit a blog and it's too wordy, you can't follow it all. Or if there are 8 new posts in one day? Yeah, I know - too much... - let me just proclaim that there is one thing I've got figured out:
Why do I say that with such authority? (And didn't the calendar announce this *last* month?) Two reasons:
1. It got cold.
2. I made chili.
When I say it got cold, it got cold. It was only in the high 30's at noon, people. That's *January* weather around these parts! But it was clear and crisp and windy and just a great day. I wore two pairs of socks to the grocery store, because I am a big baby when it comes to being cold, but it was worth it.
Around here chili is the definitive sign that autumn is upon us, and winter's just around the corner. It is one of Bubba's all time favorite foods, and he actually asks for it year round. However, I'm the world's meanest wife, and will only make it when it's cold. Seriously, who eats chili when it's 90 degrees out with 300% humidity???
I'm not going to say that this is the best chili recipe out there - chili is a very subjective thing and my ideal might not match up with anyone else's. However, I am not embarrassed to admit that I spent years -- yes you read that right, years! -- tinkering with this to get it where Bubba and I like it.
I'll warn you, it's spicy. My mother says it is the worst chili she's ever eaten, and that she doesn't see how anyone can stand all that heat. To that, I just roll my eyes at her and remind her that it wasn't until I got married that I realized that you could make chili without an envelope of Chili-o. (Although, I'm not slandering Chili-o. In the grand scheme of things, it's not bad. But making your own from scratch isn't that much more difficult or time consuming...)
If you're not a fan of spice, go ahead and try it, just dial the spice amounts way, way back. That's what I've had to do since Schecky has declared that chili is no longer on his list of "foods I won't eat"** He likes chili, but only if it's not too hot. So I ease off on the cayenne, Tabasco, and a little of the chili powder... and it's still pretty darn nice.
Bubba's Favorite Chili
1 large onion, chopped (I like the yellow kind)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 lb ground sirloin (or chuck) (or beef) (whatever)
Saute onion and garlic in the oil in a large stockpot. Add ground beef; cook over medium heat until browned. Add remaining ingredients and simmer, uncovered for at least an hour. Stir occasionally, as you don't want it to stick and get too done.
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 15 ounce can beans (Dark kidney, red kidney, etc. When I double the recipe I use one can kidney, one can black beans)
1/2 of a 6 ounce can of tomato paste (see why I like to double it? No pesky half-can left over)
2 1/2 cups of water
1 Tablespoon Cider Vinegar
6 Dashes of hot sauce (Tabasco, or the like)
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 generous Tablespoon of brown sugar (and you know that means the dark brown kind!)
This is always served with apple slices and cornbread in some shape/size/fashion. Bubba likes sharp cheddar cheese sprinkled on top, which is a nice touch.
*Hey! I just remembered that my friend, GeekyMom, taught me a neat trick - how to create a poll. How about you tell me what you want to hear about? Or is that BlatantCommentWhoring???
**The list of "foods I won't eat" is allowed to be three items long. Scheck's list for years was "Lasagna. Chili. Gumbo." Now he eats chili, and I think that slot has been filled by "Fig Newton" He hates Fig Newtons. How is that possible? They're fruit and cake! What's not to love????