Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Photos of last weekend's craft bazaar

I did a Christ Church Riverdale's Holiday Craft Bazaar last weekend.  Here are some pics!

My variety of hats. this photo was taken at home.

I had much more stuff than I needed.

Wearing the sweater I'd made hubby.
I wore various shawls throughout the day.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Another cooking post: my delicious chili

My chili is based on the chili I watched my mother make all of my childhood, amped up a little bit.  I honestly don't know what Tex-Mex purists might think of it, but I've never had anyone say he didn't like it.  As with my chicken soup, all measurements are guesses approximations, and you should adjust to taste.

Not my chli, but mine looks like this

  • Roughly chop four small onions and add to your stock pot, with a healthy swig of vegetable oil and a good pinch of salt.
  • Add chili powder, adobo chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, dried garlic, coriander, and a slight dash of cinnamon, as well as any other seasonings you fancy.  Amounts are up to you, but I recommend 1 tsp each for starters, except for the cinnamon. If you want more, you can add it later. Toasting them at this stage enhances the flavor.  
  • Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent.
  • Add 2 or more lbs. of ground beef and another pinch of salt, as well as freshly ground black pepper.  Stir frequently to break beef into small pieces. Allow any liquid that cooks out to evaporate and ensure your beef is well browned.  
  • Add two 28 oz. cans of crushed or diced tomoatoes and two 28 oz. cans of red beans or pinto beans.  To get as much of the goop out of the bottom of the cans as possible, I swish leftover coffee back and forth between the cans and pour it in.  Beef stock or water would also work.  Those who add beer to their chili would find this an opportune way to introduce it.
  • Add more liquid to fill the stock pot, stir well, and bring to a boil.  
  • Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally.  And simmer.  And simmer some more.  Then simmer another hour.  Simmering several hours is crucial. The flavor mellows remarkably over that time.
  • 30 minutes or more before serving, add in shredded corn tortillas to thicken.  The tortillas will dissolve completely. Alternatively, use a slurry of corn meal and water or milk. (Milk is especially useful if you find you've added too much heat. You can also add butter to reduce the heat.)
  • Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  • I serve with the following toppings, which guests can mix or match to their liking:
    • Sour cream
    • Corn chips or tortilla chips
    • Shredded cheese
    • Diced raw onion
    • Sliced jalapeno peppers
    • Cilantro
    • Bottled hot sauces, if desired.