Saturday, April 28, 2012

Is It Spring? Is It? And A Really Good Chili

...or have I gotten false hopes?

We've had downright hot weather for the past week -- but this Saturday afternoon, the clouds are moving in and the temperature's dropping. My poor tomatoes -- I keep rushing outside at night and covering them up. Our neighbors must think Ma and Pa Kettle's decorating style a bit zany, what with the motley arrangement of sheets, beach towels, etc. So far, though, everything's alive.

Time for a fire tonight, an adventure movie, and maybe a bowl of chili. It's incredibly easy, using the 'dump' method, and can be added or subtracted to as you wish. The secret is*:


1 pound hamburger
1 quart or large can tomatoes
1/2 finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons garlic
1 cube beef bouillon*  (gives a meaty flavor, no matter if you cut the meat in half -or less)
2 cans kidney or pinto beans
1 small can green chilies (optional)

Brown the hamburger -- or just dump it in the crockpot. (Browning gives it a 'beefier' color; cooking it right in the pot lets those good juices go straight in the chili. If you brown, rinse out those juices into the crockpot.) Dump everything else into the crockpot, rinsing out the cans with water (and adding that). Add enough water to make a soupy mix; cook on low for 6-8 hours. (Or simmer in a kettle 2-3 hours on low.)
   Serves 4, with leftovers. Try it topped with shredded cheese, chopped onion...or a hot dog. Tortilla chips or baked corn tortillas are a perfect add-on.

We really need the rain -- and spring's bound to re-emerge soon.

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