It's a very Chili Day

I love Tehahcapi. It is a very pretty place with it's high mountains, green valleys, and bright breezy days all summer long. I do not, however, love the weather from November to May! It is unpredictable at it's best, and downright fickle most of the rest of the time. Last week we were blessed with several days in the lower 80's...Tomorrow all the meteorologists are predicting snow....yes the dreaded fluffy white stuff that falls from the sky in large enough amounts to slow everything down.

Having grown up in Salem, Massachusetts I thought that I was somewhat accustomed to the cursed stuff. It turns out I've lived in warm climates just long enough to really hate the snow. I have many, many fond memories of playing in the snow. We used to look forward to every single snow-day. My sisters and I would go sledding, ice skating in the park, have snowball fights, make snow angels, get the idea. These days the mercury drops below freezing and all I can think about is, "I better put on a pot of soup." About a month ago I had a bit of 'this and that' and some lean ground sirloin to get rid of. That's how this Chili came about. It's not Bad for a thrown-together chili.

I recreated that Chili today! Here is a recipe:

Chilly Day Chili
2 Lbs. lean ground sirloin
2 Tbs. Olive oil
2 Tbs. All purpose flour
2 c. diced onions
3 cloves garlic-minced
1 green bell pepper-diced
1 red bell pepper- diced
1 tsp. Cayenne pepper
1 Tbs. each-Cumin, coriander, chili powder, smoked paprika, and annato
2 Chipotle chilies in adobo sauce-chopped
2 Qt. beef stock
1/4 c. tomato paste
1 fifteen oz. can chopped tomatoes
2 cans black beans
1 twelve ounce bottle of lager beer
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tbs. Brown Sugar
Heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and saute 5-10 minutes until the onions just start to brown, add the garlic, bell peppers and all the spices and stir together. Turn the heat to high and add the ground beef. Allow the beef to brown-stirring occasionally. Add the flour and chipotle chilies. Stir to incorporate the flour. Pour in the beef stock, tomato paste, canned diced tomatoes with their juice, the blck beans,  lime juice, brown sugar, and lastly the beer. Turn the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 2 hours until the chili has thickened to desired consistency.

Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, diced cilantro, chopped raw onions, fresh, diced chilies, and corn tortillas....YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!By the is a side story someone sent me 10 YEARS ago. It was so funny that I've kept it in my "humor" file all this time. I hope you laugh as hard as I did!

I have to admit this is a bit off-color, but combines my three favorite things. Chili, beer, and an unsuspecting Northerner! God forgive me!  I laughed till I fell off my chair!  Enjoy!

Chili Cook-off  Notes From An Inexperienced Chili Taster named
FRANK, who was visiting Texas from Boston.

Recently I was honored to be selected as a judge at a chili cook-off. The original person called in sick at the last moment, and I happened to be standing there at the judge's table asking directions to the beer wagon when the call came. I was assured by the other two judges (Native Texans) that the chili wouldn't be all that spicy, and besides, they told me I could have free beer during the tasting, so I accepted. Here are the scorecards from the event:
Chili # 1: Mike's Maniac Mobster Monster Chili
JUDGE ONE: A little too heavy on tomato. Amusing kick.
JUDGE TWO: Nice, smooth tomato flavor. Very mild.
FRANK: Holy Hellfire, what the heck is this stuff? You could remove dried paint from your driveway. Took me two beers to put the flames out. I hope that's the worst one. These Texans are crazy.

 Chili # 2: Arthur's Afterburner Chili
JUDGE ONE: Smoky, with a hint of pork. Slight jalapeno tang.
JUDGE TWO: Exciting BBQ flavor, needs more peppers to be taken seriously.
FRANK: Keep this out of reach of children! I'm not sure what I am supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich maneuver. They had to rush in more beer when they saw the look on my face.
Chili # 3: Fred's Famous Burn Down the Barn Chili
JUDGE ONE: Excellent firehouse chili! Great kick. Needs more beans.
JUDGE TWO: A bean-less chili, a bit salty, good use of red peppers.
FRANK: Call the EPA, I've located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Drano. Everyone knows the routine by now, get me more beer before I ignite. Barmaid pounded me on the back; my backbone is now in the front part of my chest. I'm getting loopy from all the beer.
Chili # 4: Bubba's Black Magic
JUDGE ONE: Black bean chili with almost no spice Disappointing.
JUDGE TWO: Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or other
mild foods, not much of a chili.
FRANK: I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste
it. Is it possible to burn out taste buds? Sally, the barmaid, was standing behind me with fresh refills; that 300 lb. witch is starting to look HOT, just like this nuclear-waste I'm eating. Is chili an aphrodisiac?
Chili # 5: Linda's Legal Lip Remover
JUDGE ONE: Meaty, strong chili. Cayenne peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick. Very impressive.
JUDGE TWO: Chili using shredded beef; could use more tomato. Must admit the cayenne peppers make a strong statement.
FRANK: My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off my forehead, and I can no longer focus my eyes. I farted, and four people behind me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chili had given me brain damage. Sally saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring beer directly on it from a pitcher. I wonder if I'm burning my lips off? It really pisses me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming.

Chili # 6: Vera's Very Vegetarian Variety
JUDGE ONE: Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili. Good balance of spice and peppers.
JUDGE TWO: The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, and garlic. Superb.
FRANK: My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous, sulfuric-inferno flames. I pooped myself when I farted, and I'm worried it will eat through the chair. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except that slut Sally; she must be kinkier than I thought. Can't feel my lips anymore. I need to wipe my butt with a snow cone!

Chili # 7: Susan's Screaming Sensation Chili
JUDGE ONE: A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers.
JUDGE TWO: Ho Hum tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chili peppers at the last moment. I should note that I am worried about Frank.....
FRANK: You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin, and I wouldn't feel a damn thing. I've lost the sight in one eye, and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with chili, which slid unnoticed out of my mouth. My pants are full of lava-like poop to match my shirt. At least during the autopsy they'll know what killed me. I've decided to stop breathing, it's too painful.

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