But last night's was a humdinger. While taking my kids to the water park and digging through my sister-in-law's cabinets, searching for sage, I realized it was Thanksgiving Day and I didn't have a turkey.
I probably would have forgotten this dream as well if I had read no blogs today.
Michael Yon Thanks and Praise: I photographed men and women, both Christians and Muslims, placing a cross atop the St. John’s Church in Baghdad. They had taken the cross from storage and a man washed it before carrying it up to the dome.
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--
Inspired by this bleg from Michele and some slightly cooler temperatures in South Texas, I decided to cook up a pot and document the process for posterity.
Although it's pictured, I wound up not using the tomato paste. The diced tomatoes were on sale 3 for $1. Now I know why. Stick with Ro-Tel. Not pictured: BEER! BTW, this is chili for households still containing small children. I've been working at desensitizing their little palates but we've only made it up to a medium on the picante scale so far.
I suppose you can use regular ground beef for chili. You can also use the pink tubes of mystery to make crab cakes but what's the point? Coarse ground beef for chili was $2.99 per pound whereas this 3lb. chuck roast was on sale for $1.99. Whittle into bite-sized chunks. Over med-high heat (leaning to the "high" side) brown the meat in batches in veg oil. Using olive oil really doesn't accomplish anything here other than using up your expensive olive oil. Set the meat aside and reduce the heat a little. There should still be a little oil in the pot. Onion and garlic. The onion here hasn't browned, it's just picked up the fond from the meat. After the onion has softened, 5 to 7 minutes, thrown in the garlic.
Time for the spices
That's a heaping 1/4 cup of chili powder and a good tablespoon of cumin. Cooking the spices really blooms and mellows the flavor. A pinch or two of oregano couldn't hurt. Cook for a minute or two.
BEER! That's a 16oz. can of "Cheap Beer de Jour" Scrape the bottom of the pot and mix everything well. Let it come to a boil. Most of the foam should evaporate. Add the meat back in and let it simmer for about 15 minutes to absorb the wonderful chili goodness. At this point, you've got (more or less) authentic Texas chili. You could just add a little water and continue simmering until the meat is melt in your mouth tender.
Texas Heresy Throw in the beef bullion cube, Worcestershire, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beans. Ranch Style Beans are wonderful. When I lived in Atlanta, I found them in the "imported" foods section of the grocery store. Imported from exotic Dallas, Texas. BTW, they make the best refried beans. Just warm up in a skillet and smash with a potato masher. Rinse out each can and add a can full of water. I used ketchup instead of the tomato paste.(A good 2 second squirt.) Ketchup adds a bit of sweetness and doesn't overpower with tomato flavor. Check for salt. Cover and let simmer for as long as you can stand it.
Serve naked. (That's a piece of ice to cool for little mouths)