Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How Chili is Like Marriage

Last Saturday the weather here seemed to demand some good old homemade beef chili. Sounded good to me too. This is my mom's tried and true recipe with a few tweaks of my own.  The Captain says it's pretty darn good.  I think he's a bit biased and he just wants me to keep cooking for him.  I have his number. (It's the same as mine. ) HA!

So I'm going all PW on ya and gonna post some pictures.  Do you know it is really hard to get appetizing shots of chili?

Start with some good lean ground beef.  Have to say we got some good beef up here in NW Iowa.  Chop you an onion.  Cry and wipe your nose and have your daughters laugh at you while you attempt this task.  The Captain was mowing the lawn or else I would have asked him to do this job.  He likes to chop things. And then I laugh at him for crying over the onions.

Add some chili powder - about one good tablespoon if you're from Iowa.  Two if you're from Oklahoma. About 1 and 1/2 if you are an Iowan married to an Oklahoman. Throw is some minced garlic too.  Can ya smell it? MMMMM.

Now here's where my tweak comes in.  I add a can of Rotel tomaters to the mix.  My mom strictly adheres to the whole tomatoes and a can of tomato soup and runs it all through the blender. My mom also uses homegrown tomatoes she cans herself. My mother finds canning and ironing therapeutic. This gene was not passed on to her only daughter.  (Note to self: when you ask The Captain to buy whole tomatoes - write it down for him - but still be very grateful he went to the store for you.)

But if there's one thing Mom and I can agree on, it's this lady here.  We both think Mrs. Grimes makes the best chili beans.

And personally, I'm okay with the blender.  It gives everything a nice consisitency. Don't run your beans through the blender though - ewww.

So once you have your ground beef browned, the onions soft, and the garlic and chili powder in satifactory proportions to all parties involved, you add your tomato mixture and some dear sweet Mrs. Grimes - juice and all - and let it simmer.

Now, if you're from Iowa and have any sort of Dutch heritage, you pull out the cinnamon rolls.  Later that night I posted on FB that we had eaten chili and cinnamon rolls and my goodness, I don't think I ever got so many responses to one of my status posts.  Some questioned the wisdom of the chili and cinnamon roll combination.  All I know is it was one of my favorite hot lunch meals in elementary school.  And Pillsbury cinnamon rolls could never hold a candle to Marge's homemade caramel rolls.  And she would always serve them up with a smile.

Now if you are from Oklahoma, you pull out the Fritos and the freshly shredded cheese.  Some of the FB responses were ALL about singing the praises of Frito chili pie, yesiree bob. 

 The IA Pilot Wife version.

The OK Airline Captain version.  Note the jalapenos, tabasco, and of course the Bud Light.

So in chili, as in marriage, it's all about the compromise.  The Captain can't resist just one cinnamon roll. I usually have my Fritos on the side. And it's all good.

Mom's Chili Recipe

2 pounds ground beef
1 chopped onion
chopped garlic to taste
1 and 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 large can whole tomatoes
1 can tomato soup
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 large can Mrs. Grimes chili beans (do not drain)

Brown ground beef  and onion over medium heat. Drain grease if necessary.  Add garlic and chili powder. In blender, mix whole tomatoes, tomato soup and Rotel tomatoes. When beef is completely browned, add tomato mixture and chili beans.  Let simmer over low heat for about one hour. Serve up with your favorite sides - whatever those may be.


Craig said...

Nice post SG. Yep, "some like it hot, some like it Hot!" Like the new look too. Weather online shows it's freezing, literally, there in the OC. Snow showers this weekend. Nooooo! Didn't have a summer, now will we have a fall? Luv ya. 'the captain' (little c)

@nnie said...

i don't have my "own" chili recipe, so I'm going to try yours, thanks for sharing, you are everything PW is and more! You have great food pics, but you also have M and M and the Captain! Take that PW!! And how is chili like marraige? are you saying you have to experiment with the recipe a little? Make some IA and OK compromises? or just that you like a little spice!!!

Kim said...

SooOOOOoo true. Funny too. It is just like you to find the funny in things. Thanks for giving us some of your joy!!! Love you girl!