Friday, March 4, 2011

Mom's Chili - Made with Love & Lots of Meat!

Okay… soooooo… 
You must know I would never intentionally lie to you or make a claim that I don't intend to follow through on.  However, life just happens sometimes and therefore demands a little flexibility.

Though I'm sorry to say it, the quinoa "double feature" just ain't gonna happen today.  It will have to wait for Monday (but, as they say, good things come to those who wait).

I will not however leave you totally hangin'.  I'm going to share my Mom's Slow Cooker Chili Recipe.  Though this meal is the antithesis of meatless, it is undeniably satisfying and incontrovertibly delicious - plus, it's darn near impossible to mess up.  Now, I have no idea where "my Mom's" chili recipe originally originated… for all I know, she got it from a cook book!  But, it's "Mom's" to me, so that's how I'm selling it to you.

My mother is an absolutely amazing woman.  I remember growing up, hearing people say that their mom's were their heros.

As is the case with many a mother-daughter relationship, it took several, post-highschool years (probably due in large part to a combination of life's natural "maturing process," a healthy amount of distance, and an ever-increasing amount of what I'll just call "big girl perspective") before, low and behold, my mom had not only become a highly revered and dearly loved hero but also, one of my very dear and most cherished of friends.

Who'd of thought that was possible right?!  (not this once, angst filled, tornado of a teenager.  Ha!  No.  Not me.  Uh-uh.  No… but, thanks be to God for forgiving parents and the healing power and added perspective that accompanies the passage of time).

Growing up, I remember my Mom worked exceedingly hard, holding down a full-time job while often also having other part-time gigs on the side as additional sources of income to keep me and my siblings well taken care of (you see what I mean about my hero).  In our home, there was always food in the fridge and a fully stocked pantry to rifle through.  "Meals" or a designated "meal time" was not really something my family did though.  I never really thought anything of this as a child/kid/teen, etc.; it was just the way things were.

Oooooooooo boy, I tell you what though, when Mom busted out the crock pot, we all knew something sensational was about to go down.  Mom was making chili.  This recipe really only requires two things - simple ingredinets and a slow cooker.  All you've gotta do is open up a few cans, slice and dice a couple of veggies, crank up the heat and just try and restrain yourself from a premature taste test as these ingredients fill your home with their thick and comforting aroma.

I remember sometimes my Mom would throw all the ingredients into the crock pot just before we all "headed off to hit the hay".  Hours later, the air was so saturated with the scent, it was like a chili-scented-alarm clock was beckoning you to rise.  Not a bad way to start the day I have to say.

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The final product:
(granted, chili is not the most photogenic of prepared dishes but, as the creation of smell-o-vision or taste-o-telly does not, as of yet, exist, for the time being, you'll just have to feast your eyes on this)

*A few final preparation tips:
- in order to nudge this dish a little bit further away on the scale from "a heart attack," I always drain the grease through a colander before adding my seasoned, browned meat into the crock pot.
- to that same end, I always end up spooning out and disposing of about a bowl's worth of the dark, red grease that collects on the top of the chili once it's finished cooking.  

I know these might be less than appealing but, it doesn't effect the flavor, it's got to influence the health factor, and it most definitely decreases the incidence of indigestion.

Now, I think it's safe to say that neither I, nor my Mom, would consider this a "healthy dish."  I think chili could be easily categorized as an indulgence - a dish to be sparingly, and in this case, most likely seasonally savored.  

For those seeking the warmth and heartiness of chili minus the meat, check out my recipe for Vegetable Chili.  Similarly, it will fill your home with a mouthwatering aroma and your stomach with surprisingly satisfying sustenance.

Until Monday, 

1 comment:

  1. This post has me salivating. It looks amazing!

    I like the concept of "big girl perspective." I have a LOT of atoning to do for my teenage years. I'll be thirty in a few months and I'm still apologizing to my mother for my behavior every time we see each other.