Marathon runners are painfully cognizant of this sad-but-truism- “One cannot run mile 26.2 when one’s feet are at mile 23.” To compensate for the fracture between this intense and highly emotional desire and the cold indifference of physics and the time-space continuum, we as runners must seek solace in the mantra, “one foot in front of the other and I’m one bit closer to the finish.”
Such it is with the year of chili. Day 344 is not Day 365. No sense in setting the mind on ground that the feet can not yet attain. Bowl after bowl after bowl, we’ll spoon and slurp our way to December 31st.
The good news about running and chili is that running helps one cope with chili. Sometimes, running offers suggestions. Today as I ran past a house or a restaurant or a Laundromat (I was moving fast) I caught whiff of the most wonderful smelling food. It very much awakened my senses and stimulated pleasant emotions. Though I am not able to surmise the exact identity of the mystic ‘yummy smelling’ provender, I have tried to approximate it- with ramen.
1 T olive oil
1 C fined chopped fresh green beans
5 cloves garlic, smashed
1 package hot and spicy shrimp flavored ramen noodles (and the associate seasoning packet)
1 C water
1 T chili powder
1 t onion powder
1 C tomato sauce
1 C vegetable juice
8 oz precooked small shrimp
- Fry green beans and garlic in oil until garlic is fragrant (about 4-5 minutes).
- Add water, seasonings (including those supplied with the ramen), water, tomato sauce, and vegetable juice.
- Boil for about 5 minutes.
- Add shrimp and ramen noodles.
- Cook until noodles are soft.
Qualifier- I paired this chili with corn dogs because I felt like eating corn dogs and (to an even greater extent) felt like pretending my children were tiny carnies.
Qualification aside, the chili ended up tasting like everything I hoped it would. The shrimp offered sweet flesh to complement the spicy seasonings, tender-crisp beans, and curvy noodles. The seasoning packet supplied with the spicy shrimp ramen was a pleasant surprise. Habanero and lime headlined the cast of spices that each wove its way into the fabric of this delicious dish. The ITP was pleased with the dish, offering praise and asking for a second helping. I’ll thank running for taking me places- if not always to mile 26.2, to places where I can wake up and smell the chili.