At the dinner table my nephew said it, “I like Grandma’s chili a lot better than moms’” His honesty opened up Pandora’s Box – Whose chili is best?
Chili is something we tend to make only in winter. It is a cross between soup and stew, only the hot spices bring out its true value. It has zero degree of difficulty to make, and if you make a big enough pot of chili it might even taste better the next day.
My sister wouldn’t think of making chili without putting spaghetti in it. Why do people put pasta in their chili? My aunt loves macaroni in her chili. Doesn’t this make it more like a chili-con-carne?
My sister-in-law puts diced bacon, nutmeg and two bottles of beer (or ale) in her chili. Now that would make my brother want two bowls.
At our house we put red kidney beans in our chili, yet my neighbor would never put beans in. My husband likes three bean chili made with whole green chilies.chilies. I’ve also tasted it made with great chili peppers. I’ve also dined on white bean chili.
My sister is watching for low fat meals so she makes a chunky chicken chili. I’ve also had her chili when she made it with venison or pork. She has even made chili with ostrich meat.
My mother-in-law never eats chili if it has meat in it. No meat? Yes, my friend Myrna fixes a totally vegetarian chili that does taste good. The flavor is robust and the jalapenos have been smoked. Yes vegetarian chili can still make your eyes water.
I add chopped tomatoes in my chili, while my mother uses whole tomatoes and my sister uses only tomato sauce. You can add Worcestershire sauce, oregano, brown sugar, onion, garlic, cornmeal, even carrots. I have heard of one woman putting in a square of unsweetened chocolate. Go figure. Every house has a different recipe for chili.
In the winter months, everyone is wild about chili. It is a collection of fiery treats cooked up anyway you like it. Yes and why do they call it chili, if we want it as hot and spicy as we can make it?