Grandma’s Kwanzaa Coffee Chili

Time needs no assistance.  Aiding time’s progress is futile.  Abetting its coarse passage is criminal.  While time does not define a person, it sets a parameter and frames the canvass on which each of us will work.  My brush stroke is slap-dash as I work in earthy browns and deep reds.  Ah, chili.  360 days into the chili experiment and I will not confess to wishing the days would pass quickly, painlessly.  The year ending is evitable and I knew we’d get to this point at a steady rate.  I’ve measured the chili experience at a steady (daily) interval.  Someday it may be greater than the sum of its pieces or (perhaps more likely) it may be some great piece of _ _it.


Somehow through the clamor of holidays and bustle of incessant travel I had forgotten to drink coffee.  Appears that I have accidentally given up one of my lesser vices.  Maybe no coffee as a beverage but as a special ingredient for Kwanzaa chili?  Oh hell yes.




1 ½ lb ground beef

1 can tomato soup

1 can (6 oz) tomato paste

1 C prepared coffee

1 T chili powder

1 t paprika

1 t cumin

¼ t red hot pepper flakes

1 C vegetable juice

1 T brown sugar

1 can (15 oz) corn, drained

2 C Cooked Spaghetti noodles, cut into thirds



For the side:

Diced raw onion



  1. Brown ground beef in a pan, drain fat.
  2. Add everything except corn, noodles and onions.
  3. Mix well and simmer on low for 45 minutes.
  4. Add corn and noodles, simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Serve topped with onions.
Kwanzaa Coffee Chili.  This may be the worst picture I've taken all year.  I am sorry.

Kwanzaa Coffee Chili. This may be the worst picture I’ve taken all year. I am sorry.


Tasting Notes:


The coffee gave this chili a wholesome, round flavor as the sugar and corn imparted a pleasant sweetness.  Little spice was apparent but there was enough to fill the bill.  Many of the guest ITP rated this chili as ‘good’ or ‘very good’.  One of the chili aunts was even so kind enough to rate the Kwanzaa Coffee Chili as ’excellent’.  She will be qualified as excellent for agreeing to take the leftover chili off our hands.  Five days now remain and we need to run lean and more the product before New Year’s.  Time waits for no chili.


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