A pointless story, yet somehow instructive; this is a true story (as will become evident if only because there really isn’t a proper denouement at the end), although, perhaps, slightly exaggerated in places. Some caveats: while the descriptive text may, at times, suffer from mild inaccuracies, the recipe (such as it is) will not; if you should attempt to make this chili at home, be prepared to fend off legions of the barbarian hordes that will arrive on your doorstep just in time for dinner. Also, fix some cornbread and, if you’re sensitive to spicy food, some rice. Finally, be aware that, while I have told this story many times (and embellished it with every telling, no doubt), the punchline is something which I am not positive will translate well through written media. Here’s to hoping, eh?
As everyone and their uncle ought to be aware of by now, I like to cook. This can’t properly be called a tradition, although all the men in my father’s generation also cook. That’s where it stops, though; before my father, the cooking was done by his mother and by her mother before her and on and on as was traditional. When my father came along, he was the first of his siblings (the third of eight!) to show any interest in what went on in the kitchen, and my grandmother imparted much of the secret lore of farm cooks unto him. He learned to bake bread, skin and joint a chicken, mix the perfect pie, and, yes, to make chili. (more…)