The first recipe, my mom’s savory chili recipe. A crowd favorite at Estes Park. I wrote down my ingredients and headed out into the windy day to shop. I start in the canned food section and find the cans I need easily, only problem is my mom’s recipe. She has been making the chili forever and the recipe is not directed to a beginner cook. She refers to the cans as ‘large can kidney beans”. Words like large are, let just say, relative. I call her to check if large means the biggest one, or the one just below the biggest one that is still bigger than the little one….do you see my confusion? So we sort out all the can sizes and I say goodbye. Okay….where is the taco seasoning? I call my mom back, she says by the gravy or spices. I stare at the gravy for a while and decide it is not there, so I move on to the spices….success! Bye mom thanks! So now spicy ground pork. I stare at the meat section like I am shopping for a Valentines card on February 13th. Pork sausage, Italian sausage….dang it! Dialing again. She directs me to the lunchmeat/breakfast meat sections…who knew there are 3 places for pork at King Soopers. I then have a near panic attack by the jalapenos; does everybody have to be shopping for the jalapenos right now too? I think I might be ready to leave the store!
The hard thing about groceries when you’re young and poor, is living on a third floor apartment. I grab all my groceries, which I can barely carry and take to the street, through the wind and up the stairs. I walk in my apartment and good thing Max is the only one home. My hair looks like I was just on a rollercoaster and I plop the bags down like I had just run a marathon. Perhaps some exercise is in store for the next week? I turn the TV towards the kitchen, put on CSI (Las Vegas of course) and get choppin! I wore gloves for the peppers….remember to do this, or you will regret it! Kitten Max was trying to be helpful. He tried some jalapeño…didn’t like that. But he cleaned up the onion pieces I left behind….cats like onions, really? I called my mom to check to see if I cover the chili while it cooks (you do) and she asks if I remembered to put in the garlic and onion. Onion yes, garlic…not on the recipe. I scramble to chop some garlic, good thing I have it on hand. I stare into the vast pot I have just assembled…this recipe could feed a small army! Put portions in the freezer to enjoy another time. This recipe will make food for a lot of people, or a lot of servings for two people, and only cost around $20 for all the ingredients!
So the chili is cooking…Max is sleeping…and I am sipping some victory scotch. It only took 3 times as long as it should have, a near panic attack and 6 calls to my mother. Bon appetite!