Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Huff! Huff! Pant! Pant! Pant!

Fall is in the air in the Mid-Atlantic Piedmont, and I've switched back to capris; my intermediate mainstay, between shorts and jeans. Along with the lengthening of my pants, came a natural fall desire to switch to some comfort food, and for me that meant a pot of chili. I love the stuff! I hadn't made it all summer long, so I was really looking forward to cooking up a pot. Fortunately, I had all the necessary ingredients; onions and peppers, dark red kidney beans, canned diced tomatoes, oregano, basil, thyme, garlic, onion powder, cinnamon, clove, cumin, cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce, a little red wine vinegar, and a choice of either ground beef, or chicken breast. I chose chicken this time. I used to make it all in a crock pot, taking all day to slowly perfect the spicy Tex-Mex concoction, but now that I have become a ....ahem.....senior citizen, leisure is more important than labor, so I do a 30 minute microwave version.

I made it this afternoon after lunch, then allowed it to cool for a few hours to let the flavors to meld. At 6:30, it was time for an appetizer. A few slices of apple, some cheese and crackers, and a glass of Zinfandel; the perfect snack to prime the palate for something hot and spicy. At seven it was time to give the chili a try, so I poured another glass of Zinfandel, and after dishing out a bowlful, and nuking it for a few minutes in the microwave, I dug in.

My reaction? Maybe a little less cayenne pepper next time.......although I must admit, my sinuses are remarkably clear tonight!

Melissa XX


Naukishtae said...

I try to use ground turkey.. with every kind of bean I can find (except green).. I like all the different flavors and textures.

As a lover of chili myself, I gotta ask "cinnamon"?

Amy K. said...

Chili and capris, two of my favorite things that start with "C!" "C is for chili, chili's good for me..." I looooove me some spicy food, so I'm sure I would've enjoyed it, and I might've added some Cholula hot sauce to my serving as well. ;)

Nikki and her father were remarking on how capris are stupid or something. I love them! He's a harley dude, so yeah, he's not going to "get" capris. I expected more from Nikki though, who can be pretty girly at times. Silly thing. I have 4 or 5 pairs myself, and I love them. :)

Someday I'll have to pay you a visit and try some of that tasty chili!

chrissie said...

Over here of course, we call "Fall", "Autumn".

Of the two names, I actually prefer "Fall". There's a sort of romance about it; don't know why..


Melissa said...

@ Naukishtae

Yes, cinnamon. I know, it sounds strange. It sounded strange to me the first time I saw it in chili recipe too, but like clove, it's a spice that works well with the other ingredients. I use Spice Islands ground Saigon cinnamon. It's spicier than generic cinnamon. Don't ask me for measurements, because I never measure anything. I just wing it. A little bit of this, a little bit of that.........

@ Amy

I always have to add hot sauce to my mother's chili. She has never liked spicy, or highly seasoned food, so her chili is always bland. I'm with you. If it doesn't make my face sweat, it isn't hot enough. :-D

I've always loved capris! They were very popular, when I was growing up in the 50's and 60's. I have more than a dozen pair of them. White, red, denim, khaki, pink, green, black, plaid, floral, you name it. With the mild winters we usually have here, I can wear them eight or nine months out of the year.

@ Chrissie

I believe it was Winston Churchill, who said, that America and England were "two nations, divided by a common language":-D

We generally use the term autumn as an adjective, as in, "the autumn leaves were ablaze with color", but here too, you will occasionally hear it used as a noun denoting the season.

The terms "fall" and "spring" come in handy here, because we have the whacked out custom of changing our time standards twice a year, and the saying, "spring ahead, and fall back" helps you to remember whether to turn your clocks forward, or backwards.

Melissa XX

Anonymous said...

Now that sounds lovely. I had a lovely cheese and potatoe pie tonight but I would have swapped you!
I am a spice princess LOL.

Anonymous said...

I must be a heat freak. In Texas we substitute beans with jalapenos...lol. The last time my wife made chili, I had her pick up the 3 alarm spice packet. Then she added 24 jalapenos to the pan. You'd think it would be unbearably hot, but it wasn't. The flavor the jalapenos add is wonderful. Cooking removes most of the heat from most peppers...except the Habaneros I grow. Nothing seems to cool those things off. Good think I love my food hot. It's not really coole enough for Chili here yet...but I can hardly wait.

Melissa said...

@ Suzi

Jalapenos aren't bad at all, if you first cut out the seeds and attached internal membranes. Now Habaneros are a different story all together. They are the pepper from hell! I grew a few plants back when I used to pant a garden, and just one of those beasts, would heat up an entire pot of chili. The first time I used them, I made the mistake of throwing three or four in the pot, just like I would with jalapenos. What a mistake! That chili was so hot, it could have been used as a torture device...........OK, so you won't talk eh? Well, we'll just force feed you some of this Habanero chili........

Melissa XX

Melissa said...

@ lisalisa

Don't cut your potato and cheese pie short, sweetie! That sounds pretty darned good to me! In fact my mom made something very similar, for my birthday on Monday; potatoes au gratin. Yum!

Melissa X

Melissa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.