On the road, but not exactly in the Kerouac sense. In this instance, there is far more swimming and a sad paucity of Luanne Henderson. The good news, we planned ahead and brought a slow cooker (everyone takes theirs on long trips, right?) Clearly, the Rival crockpot isn’t here for the water slides but because we will prepare chili for lunch. The key for chili on the road is selecting ingredients that are essentially non-perishable and easy to prepare. I selected spaghettios to form the base of this chili. They are agreeable to the palate and can be seasoned to the point that they actually taste good. Intentionally, I selected the variety without meatballs, as the meatballs supplied with the spaghettios are small and of questionable province. Instead, I brought along a one pound bag of large turkey meatballs (I’m not sure the size of the turkeys but the balls are big). Each ball weighs 1 ounce and their texture is firm enough to be ying to the spaghettios mushy yang. In true road food style, I scored some ketchup and picante sauce packets from a fast food restaurant. If we’ve learned anything in the last 53 days, it is that 5 people who have been eating chili for 8 straight weeks should not share one small bathroom in a small hotel room (whoosh). No wait, that slipped. What I meant to say was we have learned that anything can be incorporated into chili. Ketchup and picante will likely improve the spaghetti sauce. I brought along seasonings and grape tomatoes, so let’s roll
26 oz can of spaghettios (sans weird little balls)
6 oz grape tomatoes (sliced with a spoon because I forgot a knife)
2 packs of fast food picante sauce
4 small packs of ketchup
1 T chili powder
1 t paprika
Mix the ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low 2.5 hours.
Nothing better than sauntering back to your room after a morning of swimming and being greeted by a warm bowl of comfort food. A step up from regular old Spaghettios and a far better option than spending 50 bucks at IHOP (ick). The ITP praised the dish. With this buoying my confidence, I mistakenly believed the Involuntary Taste Panel thought me a road food genius. As it turns out, they later admitted that I could have done anything with spaghettios and meatballs and it would have been to their liking. This is the point along the line at which the pearl has been handed to me. We may survive the year.