Middle School Potluck Chili

Day 57

Middle School Chili Potluck. If there was a worst nightmare for the junior ITP, this was it. This event forced him to 1) return to the school he had waited all day to leave and 2) eat the identical cuisine he has been dining on for 8 straight weeks. Naturally, I had a different perspective. The Middle School Chili Potluck clearly presented an opportunity for me to strut my stuff. Undoubtedly my experience far surpassed that of the other chili cooks, as no sane person has spent the entirety of 2014 making daily chili. With careful consideration I regarded which type of chili would “play well” at tonight’s event. My contemplation took me back to my time in junior high. It seemed best at that time to simply blend in, become artfully unostentatious. Accordingly, I decided to make a standard, unflashy (but likeable) chili.

2 ½ pounds ground beef
2 C bloody Mary mix
16 oz medium salsa
4 T chili powder
2 t cumin
2 t paprika
1 T garlic powder
2 T dried onion
1 T Mexican oregano
2 t habanero sauce
2 cans pinto beans, partially mashed

Brown ground beef, drain fat
Add remaining ingredient, except beans, and simmer for 1 hour.
Add beans and simmer for 10 minutes.

Middle School Potluck Chili

Middle School Potluck Chili

Tasting notes:

We each sampled a number of the chili offerings. I was happy and perplexed that someone used tofu in a chili. Anyhow, the conclusion was this- 3 of the 4 ITP found my offering superior to the rest. (Not a math major, but I am one up on you, Meatloaf.) Somewhat surprisingly, my chili developed a following with the younger crowd. When the eldest junior ITP advocated that I take it as a good sign that the “3-year olds” were lining up for my chili, I wasn’t sure how to react. Could it be that toddlers asking for my chili is a positive indicator for success? This would be a strange metric by anyone’s standards. Perhaps there was something more troubling with this epiphany. I began to wonder- Have I become like Barney? (Though arguably less creepy and inarguably less purple.) Or The Wiggles? (Though clearly less creepy and probably better-dressed). I had little time to dwell on any of this, as suddenly a cacophony of near-deafening noise enveloped the school cafeteria. A band, which the MC had described as a “group of middle school alums” (what an endorsement) lurched into a set of screeching, halting tumult. I would generously describe it as “pint-sized Primus.” Thankfully, sans vocals. Survival necessitated escape. As deftly as possible under the migraine-inducing circumstances, we cleaned our table, grabbed our coats and headed out. Before we made the door, I was able to clandestinely snag our crockpot. To my delight, I was conscious of its conspicuous lack of heft. It was empty, not a bit of chili remained. It is pleasant to know my offering was hit hard enough to entirely deplete it. It did leave me wondering if my chili had fairly stood out in its inconspicuousness or if there were simply a vast horde of ravenous 3 year olds in attendance.

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4 Responses to Middle School Potluck Chili

  1. Chas. says:

    Well done my friend. Kids are the great beacons of truth. Just like Socrates said, “Only 3 types of people that tell the truth: Kids, Drunk people, and anyone who is p*ssed the f**k off.” Or maybe that was Richard Pryor’s quote.

  2. spasture says:

    Would angry, drunk, children speak the ultimate truth?

    • Chas. says:

      I think not – based on my observations of our representatives in Congress (who closely match the characteristics of whom you referred in your previous comment). I do, however, believe they would find truth in that sweet-ass chili of yours!

  3. spasture says:

    Your incisive candor is greatly appreciated. My fear, however, is that those engaged in government would not be able to distinguish sweet-ass chili from a hole in the ground. Besides, intoxicated children are funnier than reps and require far less babysitting.

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