Back story: At bell rehearsal one Wednesday in October, I announced, “I’m taking chili to Carolyn and Lynn tomorrow.” Lynn was recovering from a stroke; Carolyn was a sister, so it stood to reason I should do something.
I texted her: “May I bring chili tomorrow?”
She answered, “I just made some last night.” So much for that.
I texted my brother Bill. “Can I bring you some chili?”
He answered, “I’ll take a raincheck; it’s chaotic over here since we’re planning to move.”
Truth be told, I hadn’t yet cooked the chili, though I’d thawed out a package labeled “deer chili” from son Eric. I’d pulled down cans of tomatoes and beans, herbs and spices to the countertop.
I waited a few days, then decided the meat needed to be cooked at least, and refrozen, if necessary. I browned the meat, cooled it, freezer-container-ed it, but left it in the fridge.
The next Tuesday, I awoke with a yen to finally prepare the chili. I’d pulled out of a collection of cookbooks one called “More Faithful Cooking,” published in 2010 by the United Methodist Women of Piggott, Arkansas, and autographed by Lou Forrest, who was at that time proprietress of The Downtown Inn.
In the section, Soups & Salads, I found on page 25, two chili recipes: one called Santa Fe chili, by Alex Routszong, and the other, Chili, by Leigh Cole. Between them both, I had about every ingredient mentioned. I found the crockpot, a wedding gift in 1960, hauled it up to the range, set it on a burner cover and plugged it in. Originally, I had planned to cook in the cast iron Dutch oven, but both recipes called for a “slow cooker.” Duh!
I transferred the meat to the cooker. I had no onion, so I sprinkled in a goodly amount of dried onion flakes. I didn’t have tomato sauce, but added diced tomatoes, Ro-Tel, and V-8 juice. Drained and rinsed black beans and pinto beans went next. Added a packet of Ranch dressing mix and part of a package of Taco seasoning. Two teaspoons of cumin, which I didn’t know I had, added. Then dash after dash of chili powder. No salt; no pepper.
After the last addition, I tasted it and added more chili powder until I was satisfied.
“Cook on high for four hours,” one said; “five-six hours,” the other recipe said. I chose four.
It was the best chili, I told son Eric, provider of the meat, I ever made and ever ate. He replied, “I hope to have some fresh meat by the end of this week.”
My brother Bill was now ready for some, so I containered a large amount, took it over at lunch time, and we ate and visited while his wife shopped.
I put the remainder in plastic bowls for left-overs. Yum! Yum! What a way to participate in the fall and winter seasons.
I've signed up to take a pear cobbler to the family Thanksgiving next week.
c 2018, PL, d/b/a lovepat press, Benton AR USA