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September 23, 2009 / dcwisdom

Autumn Chili

Around here, when we think of fall, we think of chili. Being the first day of autumn and our favorite season, a small celebration was in order.

A great Texas dish, it’s a favorite of my family. My girls were travelling today and called me, saying, “Mom, don’t worry about dinner. We’ll stop and get something to bring home.”

I smiled. “Come on in. I’ve got chili on the stove.” *excited screams*

The history of chili is varied. Some report that a Catholic nun in Spain concocted the first recipe in the 1600’s; however, most sources say that chili originated with the 18th century Spanish settlers in San Antonio where they cooked venison, goat, or bits of beef along with chilies into a stew. This tasty dish has continued to be a staple food all these years with variations of meat, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and sometimes beans, which is how we like ours.

My recipe is simple. Since I’m not a technically-involved woman in the kitchen, I look for EASY ways to make great tasting food. 34 really gets into chili and goes to more trouble. Of course, use your personal preferences, if you wish. Here’s my version:

1-1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 packet Williams’ chili seasonings (for 2 lbs. meat)
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
2 cans chili beans
2 cans of water
optional: 1 jalepeno, chopped, with or without seeds
Brown meat and onion in a dutch oven or soup pot.
Stir in remaining ingredients.
Simmer on low for 2 hours or in crock pot 4-6 hours.
This recipe will be spicy (and hot with the peppers).
Serve with cheese, crackers, cornbread, or whatever floats your boat.
Have to run now. After showers, we girls will settle in to watch a flick and eat Ben and Jerry’s to top off the chili. I have to have the ice cream — settles the early morning heartburn, you know… *burp*
(Note the old Premium cracker box in the picture. I’ve had that can for over 30 years. It’s a family heirloom already.)