Wednesday, October 10, 2007

How Can I Cook It If I Can't Even Spell It?**

I have a confession-I've never made chili. Ever. I tried to remember the last time I actually ate the stuff, and I can't. It seems like my mother used to make it pretty frequently in the 70's, but it couldn't have been that frequently as my dad wouldn't eat it. I seem to recall it was one of those things we ate when he was making out-of-town deliveries and wouldn't be home for dinner. Tuna and Chinese food took similar schedules.

I can't say I have anything against chili. I know that for a time, it was the only thing I would eat at a rather unremarkable chain of restaurants in Chicago called Jo-Jo's. It was like Denny's, but worse. Why we kept going there, I'll never know but my mother and granny ate lunch there often enough for me to figure out that a bowl of chili was the safest thing on the menu. I probably just liked the oyster crackers.

"Well", I was thinking to myself this morning, "I have a lb. of ground beef defrosting in the fridge, maybe I should make chili."

The thought was quickly dashed by looking at a number of recipes that sound only marginally better than dog food. There's also more than a bit of contagious magic associated with it (some Anthropology student should take a look at the sorcery aspect of making chili) which always leads me to think it probably isn't any good. You know, if it isn't the world's best chili it isn't that the chili is faulty-you just didn't perform the spell correctly, etc. There's a fair bit of this nonsense in sourdough baking too, with magical properties of starters and so on.

So no, I won't be making a pot of chili, though I am reasonably certain that good chili exist somewhere, it just won't be coming out of my kitchen.

It is nearly three in the afternoon and I still haven't decided between Swedish meatballs, or Cabbage Rolls. Guess I'd better get in the kitchen and figure it out. While I'm at it, I might try to understand what possessed me to purchase five pounds of ground chuck-blech. Glad I'm too sick to eat it.*

*My husband on the other hand eats this sort of thing, happily.
**I found three different spellings and finally settled on "chili."

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