We have somehow managed to survive 100 consecutive days of chili. Each day a new bowl of chili and a fresh opportunity to explore the farcical chili lifestyle. It hasn’t always been a cakewalk, but much praise is owed to the Involuntary Taste Panel for their forbearance and calm tolerance. Here’s a unique opportunity to get a peek behind the curtain and meet the movers and shakers at Casa de Chili:
Vital: Consistently helps with chili prep, offers pointers, and asks amazing questions. Not afraid to kick box Chili365 and, given her success with this endeavor, her lack of fear is completely justified.
Likes: Ice cream but not chili flavored ice cream.
Greatest Fears: Plumbing fixtures, elevators.
Chili Palate: Tolerant (more or less)
Favorite Style of Chili: Chili made with grape jelly. Most chilis lacking ginger, her arch-nemesis.
Vital: Can run *very* far.
Likes: Marching to the beat of a different drummer. Bird watching, fish stalking.
Dislikes: Mornings (and sometimes afternoons, evenings, nights)
Chili Palate: Fickle
Favorite Style of Chili: Anything in a taco shell. Will go to great lengths to praise any chili the remaining ITP members find distasteful.
Vital: Knows something about everything, brings a sorely needed calming presence to the ITP boardroom.
Likes: Insects and many “underappreciated” creatures. People, regardless of how flawed.
Greatest Fears: “Just the Two of Us” by Bill Withers. Sport Peppers.
Chili Palate: Adventurous
Favorite Style of Chili: Difficult to pinpoint. Something with seafood is probably a good bet. Has been known to throw out the phrase “best chili ever” with increasing abandon.
Mrs. Chili 365
Vital: Keeps a morning ritual of checking (and rechecking) the prenuptial agreement for any language pertaining to “forced daily consumption of chili.”
Likes: Marching to the beat of an indifferent drummer. Dining out (and not eating chili).
Greatest Fears: Slimy from Sesame Street, Anyone hailing from that state of Utah.
Chili Palate: Versatile, in a selective way.
Favorite Style of Chili: Anything soupy and laden with macaroni. More than any other ITP member, considers viscosity when rating chili.
Vital: Makes chili the way your mother would make it- that is if your mom is bat-shit crazy….and a man.
Likes: Working hard to establish an egalitarian society based on an economy rooted in chili, brewing, distance running, and chicken keeping.
Greatest Fears: Sock monkeys, water chestnuts, and sock monkeys with water chestnuts in their mouths that shoot water chestnuts at you when they talk.
Chili Palate: “Bring it”
Favorite Style of Chili: Equal opportunity eater, unless it has water chestnuts (or sock monkeys). In that case, it’s run to the hills (cue the Iron Maiden).
Today’s chili celebrates things found in spring. We hope you enjoy.
1T olive oil
9 oz asparagus, chopped
14 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic
2 C vegetable juice
1 T chili powder
1 t cumin
½ t garlic pepper seasoning
1 T maple syrup
1T brown sugar
2 eggs, hardboiled and sliced
1) Mix vegetable juice, chili powder, cumin, seasoning, syrup, and sugar in a pot. Simmer for 30 minutes.
2) Stir fry asparagus, mushrooms, and garlic in olive oil tender, crisp.
3) Add stir fry and eggs to the chili mix and heat through.
4) Serve over rice.
Not bad. Most of the ITP, with the exception of Pre, enjoyed the chili. It wasn’t the best of the lot of 100, but it clearly wasn’t the worst (That’d be the Pig heart chili). If I would do this one again, I would push it closer to a fish sauce base and away from the tomato base.