Could You Eat Chili for Every Meal for a Month?
I grew up eating the best chili this side of the Rio Grande. That should be the title of a Country-Western song, don’t you think? Anyway, when I met my husband in college, he quickly learned that I will throw a pot of chili together whenever I get a chance to do so. Since the kids have left home, he informed me that I either needed to come up with a way to make less chili or come up with a way to change things up a bit. It never occurred to me that he would tire of this meal.
I’ve won many an informal chili cook-off between my co-workers at Security Self Storage in Napa, although I was told that they were just going to award me the prize for life if I’d just bring it in when they wanted.
You see, I got my cooking technique from my great uncle, Uncle Ben – no, not that Uncle Ben. He was a career Army cook. Let’s say that when he cooked, even after his retirement into civilian life, he never quite got the knack for small cooking. He never married and would spend time with his family, visiting for a few weeks/months at a time and assuming all cooking duty whilst he was there.
Whatever you’ve heard about Army cooking, it is very much not the case with what Uncle Ben made. Everything was delicious! With 6 kids, I kind of took that trait on, so I suppose I can see where my husband is coming from. I explained this whole scenario to him and launched a, “If you’ve never been faced with 20 quarts of beef stroganoff to put away, you really can’t complain about 8-10 quarts of chili.”
And then, it happened. My dear husband said that he was done with chili. No more for him unless I mixed it up a bit. I went straight to work making a big old pot and got busy finding ways to incorporate it into different meals.
Breakfast – this was hard. About all I could come up with was chili with omelets, breakfast burritos, and scrambled eggs. What would you do?
Lunch – bit easier, but I wanted to have something lighter. I did chili taco salad, chili in a bread bowl with sour cream and cheese, chili empanadas, chili over baked potatoes, and chili macaroni and cheese.
Dinner – more on the lunch theme, but more substantial. Chili lasagna (replace the marinara with chili) and use a pepper jack/cheddar cheese mixture, chili nachos, chili enchiladas, chili tamales, chili burritos, chili shepherd’s pie, chili fries, and chili spaghetti. Oh, and a few nights of just bowls of chili.
We did this for an entire month. I’ll admit, at the end of this month, I was done with chili too. I never thought that it could happen. I promised Uncle Ben that I would never reveal his top-secret recipe, but I will give you the secret ingredients – unsweetened baking cocoa (1 tsp) and a dash of cinnamon.
If you have any foods like this, come in and see me at Security Self Storage in Napa. I’d love to chew the fat with you. (For those unfamiliar with southernisms – this means visit for a while.) If you give me enough notice, I might be able to whip up…..nope, still not able to think about it.