Sunday, August 10, 2008

My Super-Secret Chili Recipe

My Super-Secret Chili Recipe

I've redacted some of the ingredients in order to keep this secret. IMHO it's the best Chili I've had. Feel free to experiment, it's really hard to mess this one up.
Start with one can of ____ beans and one can of _____ beans. I like Bush's or Progresso. Just throw the entire contents of the cans into a large pot (4 qt at least I think). Then add a can of _____ tomatoes. Start it simmering at Low while you prepare the other ingredients.
Finely dice one large _____ onion and throw it into the pot. Then chop up a variety of hot peppers. I usually like to throw some _________ and even a _______ into the mix for added heat. Don't be frugal on the peppers. 
For meat you have a choice. I usually go for the ____ _____ beef but I've also used _____, ______, or even ______. Just brown and drain it first. 
Of course you can't have chili without Chili. I get some off-the-shelf dried chili mix, which is basically chili powder, salt, cumin, and maybe some onion and garlic. I don't recommend some of the canned chili mixes because of all the weird ingredients like MSG etc.
Now we get down to the "secret" part of the recipe. Once all the ingredients are in, I throw in a bottle of ____. Feel free to have some sips (or your own bottle). I would go with one of the heavier styles.  
Cover it all with a lid and let it simmer on low/med low for _ hours, basically until it's nice and thick. I don't usually use any kind of thickener; if you cook it long enough it will thicken naturally. It is done when it gets a little hard to stir. 
The next "secret" part is the garnishes. After I take the chili off the heat, I squeeze in half a ____. I serve it with the other half, some chopped ______, and some shredded _____. I like to use corn chips to eat it with. 
Enjoy!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Thoughts on Aging


Thoughts on Aging

Today we cleaned out some drawers that a mouse had gotten into. As we pulled out the clothes, we triaged them into 3 piles: trash, donateables, and keepers.

As I went through the clothes, I began to come to a realization:
All my life I've kept things because I thought someday I'd like to wear them, or just look at them. I kept stuff for nostalgic purposes.

Well now I'm 41. I don't want to wear a T-shirt I wore in High School. For any reason. I don't want to give any old shirts to my kids. I'm beginning to come to the realization that I don't want my old stuff anymore. It's just clutter. I'm not the same person I was 20+ years ago. I have different tastes and needs. I'm tired of having piles and piles of stuff that I've collected all my life. Collected for what? Some future me? I began to ask myself the question, "will I want this stuff another 20 years from now when I'm 60+?" And I realized the resounding answer was "NO".

It reminded me about what someone said after the Ragnar Race: "I'm just going to throw out my medal." What?? Huh? I love my race medals. But...will I really want a pile of dusty medals in 20 years for races I barely remember? What about the dozen shirts I collect each year from the various races I run in? Do I really need to collect reminders about everything I've done in my life? Do I need to keep everything in boxes and boxes all the way to the ceiling?

I think I want things simplified. I don't want tons of everything. Heck I'm getting tired of my fridge being full of beer. It's too much beer. I just want a few of them. I don't want piles of mail everywhere. Bills. Ads. It's just all junk that I have to deal with. Maybe I'm just getting old. And Grumpy.




Monday, August 4, 2008