Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Comfort Food

On Friday afternoon, I have to go to City Hall and pick up a Proclamation from the mayor that it is officially Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month in our town. I'm getting a couple of the grrlzz from the PHA national offices to come down for the photo op, and maybe my co-group-leader, and my husband armed with camera.

The Cap'n has some sort of bug and spent the day in bed today, but has arisen sufficiently to enjoy a bowl of chili and watch some tube.

And this weekend, our support group meets and I'm making a big pot to share for lunch.

If I do say so myself, I am a chili phenom.

Now, you must realize that chili is the ethnic cuisine of the Southwest. The headquarters of the International Chili Society is falsely located in San Juan Capistrano (wonder if they can make Swallow Chili?), California, when we all know it should be located no further west than Albuquerque.

So, when I make chili, it is in the manner of my ancestors. In fact, I send off for my chili seasoning because one cannot get it on the east coast. The Cap'n will often procure me some when he goes to the homeland, but when he cannot do so, the internet has become a mighty help.

I make chili in two-pound batches. Two pounds of lean lean lean meat, beef, or turkey, or bison, or venison, ten ounces of some sort of tomato stuff, and spices. This is what goes in chili. No beans. Beans may be added later, piled on top or under the chili, but no beans should be simmered in the chili. Ewww. Makes me shiver.

Tomato stuff is the great variable. One may use the generic canned tomatos, or Ro-Tels with their varieties of added chiles, or fire-roasted San Marinos...or if you're just flat broke, a thirty-cent can of generic-brand tomato soup will work.

In the spice department, one may add things like smoked paprika, or chipotle powder, or extra cumin, or even coffee, cocoa or chives. I've done all those things at one time or another.

But for me, chili is the true comfort food. The only other thing that compares is turkey and dressing in the comfort department.

In my town, there is one chili parlor that does a fine job. When I cannot, they always can. At one point they had an item on the menu that I tried, enjoyed and cannot ever do again. It was called "Atomic Fred." "Fred" was a quarter-pound fat short hot dog with chili, cheese, onion and minced fresh jalepeƱos. Holy cow. "Fred" gave me gastrointestinal delight (or excitement) for about three days. I can no longer do this. But it was magnificent. (I think they have removed Fred from the menu, perhaps due to fear of lawsuits.)


Teddybear said...

You crack me up, glad your feeling better to have chili. As I was reading you were making me hungry for chili. I used to make it for church they could never get enough. Thanks for bringing back the memories.

Annette said...

OK, I am in absolute shock here! I decided to check in on my blogging phriends and anticipated to see the same "Organ Recital" post. Instead, I see FOUR NEW POSTS?!?!? Wow! That absolute beating that "your boys" did to "my boys" on the football field must have been extremely motivating!
Good job on the proclamation!

Anonymous said...

Yummy..did you send me a batch???LOl
and that Freds atomic sounds awesome but maybe a few years ago..LOL

Great job on your Proclamation:))

Have a great day..Tell Hooper to feel better..Scotch on the rocks would help...LOL

Love & Hugs,

Cathy said...

Can I have some of that Chili?
ummmm put it on top of Tamales!

phtony said...

Lol @ "Fred" - I also like chili although I've never considered it a comfort food - chili with tortilla chips, Dos Equis, and a lime....those were the days

take care,