I'm curious, so I'll ask. Are there places like this where you live? Meat and vegetables every day of the week. Meals like my mother might have cooked—except more choices. I like to cook, but there are days (like yesterday) when that just doesn't happen. And it's wonderful that we have this little place as my "other kitchen." It is in the country, not far from the interstate. You might not stop and eat at this unimpressive little concrete block restaurant sitting in the middle-of-nowhere if you didn't know anything about it. But there are plenty of us who DO know about it. It's the kind of place where a Mercedes parks beside a pickup truck, where the business man is in line behind the construction worker.
This is the middle of the food line. I couldn't get in all the salads and the meats and the desserts. It's the hardest thing ever not to taste it all. I love it because I can eat things like beets that I don't often cook at home because Daddy-O doesn't care for them. And Daddy-O can have turnip greens—which is not my favorite vegetable.
And after lunch I headed to a knitting class. (For you knitters, it was a quick class in stranded knitting so that we can make that Baa-ble hat.) It was timed to exactly fit between church and the Super Bowl. How much fun on a Sunday afternoon. Cookies, coffee, good company, and knitting. That's my idea of a good time.
We live so far out in the country that I forget how much goes on all the time in the city. As I drove into the city to the yarn shop, I went through the circus traffic at the big arena. And a Broadway show was happening at the nearby performing arts center. I also read about a couple of concerts, the museums exhibits and a history lecture that were going on yesterday. If you live in a city where everything is so accessible, how do you decide what to do?
It wasn't hard to choose what we would do on Sunday night. I knew we would watch the Super Bowl and I knew I wasn't going to cook, but we wanted Super Bowl appropriate food. So on Saturday, I pulled the last quart of chili and beans out of the freezer. There is a reason I always make a double (and sometimes a triple) recipe. It freezes beautifully. How great it is to pull really good food out of the freezer, thaw it, then heat and eat. We have cold weather coming this week. It might be a good time to make more.
DAMN GOOD CHILI
2 lbs. extra lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
1 8-oz. can water
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (I used the refrigerated jarred kind)
1 teaspoon salt
1 16-oz. can light red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
*1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
Brown meat, onion and green pepper in large skillet. Put into large Dutch oven or stockpot. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer for 2-3 hours.
*I add a single 15-oz. can of diced tomatoes to the recipe whether I'm making a single, double or triple batch. The original recipe didn't call for this but I thought it needed to look "redder." Other than that, I never stray from the original recipe.
Interesting fact—this recipe came from a 1977 ad for Presto pressure cookers. (Yes, that "bad word" was in the original name of the recipe.) I found it in the booklet that came with my first pressure cooker and I've been making it ever since. I also won 1st prize with this recipe at our church contest in 2012.