The place was run down because we allowed it to be so. In the sleepy college abode we
wallowed in reveled in our mediocrity. It was a special place, a home were underachievement was not an indictment of a weak constitution but rather a cherished social more, one not to be violated lightly. Success being measured with a micrometer, we never ran out of occasions to toast our (sparse) achievements. In the wake of cut classes and impromptu drinking games, an annual pre-Thanksgiving tradition soon took foot. We would (momentarily) take a break from boozing and watching Skinamax to set about cleaning up the hovel and preparing for the “feast”. Furniture was constructed from empty beer cases and spittoons were rinsed. On the meal front, such delicacies as turkey loaf, instant mashed potatoes, and canned yams were prepared. Good times, good friends, and ‘good’ food- that is living.
No apologies here- the lackluster and bluster of early adulthood was well spent. These memories charged my battery today, as I found myself duct-taping a piece of my foot back into place and preparing to run through needle-sharp falling ice.
Tonight’s chili is a throwback to those care-free days and an excuse to stand near the stove to warm my freezing extremities.
1 ¾ C diced sweet potato
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes with onion and roasted garlic
½ C diced tomatoes
½ C sliced Anaheim chilies
1 ½ C vegetable juice
2 T chili powder
1 t paprika
1 ½ C diced, cooked turkey loaf
1 C pinto beans
- Simmer sweet potatoes, tomatoes, chilies, juice, and seasonings in a pot for 45 minutes.
- Add turkey loaf and beans and simmer for 15 minutes.
I was surprised by the high quality presentation and immense depth of flavor inherent to this chili. The entire package is rather difficult to describe. It was somewhat akin to a very delicious, spicy pasta sauce. Given the chili’s ingredients that claim would seem like a quite a stretch, but it is not. As I am unable to identify any one ingredient that makes this chili work, I’ll blame it on the synergy of parts and indict my experiences ‘making’ stovetop stuffing in the art deco kitchen of my past. The kitchen in which one frosted donut hung on a nail for 3 years, only to be taken down by the last of us to rehome. The new tenant likely wasn’t planning to eat it anyhow.
PLS. Help- Mrs. Chili 365 is starting to lose it. 328 days of chili and the cracks are beginning to show. She is taken to leveling threats of harm and then snickering- as if she is jesting. She clearly is not and, in order to thwart any ‘Canadian-style blitzkrieg’ I need to borrow some chainmail. We have 37 days remaining and I’d love to see 2015.