It’s Chili Season

For several years now, the family has had a tradition involving Halloween and chili.  when my niece and nephew were younger, we would do the trick-or-treating at my mother-in-law’s house where she would make up a batch of chili.  Well, my nephew is 14 and more interested in rebuilding his race car and my niece is 10 and despite the fact that she is a dress-up diva, this could be her last Halloween.  Nevertheless, we will have chili.

From that point on, my wife and I will make various versions of it throughout the cold weather seasons.  My wife and my sister-in-law have disagreements when it comes to chili.  My sister-in-law likes to add white vinegar to hers as a condiment.  My wife thinks this is insane or gross or both.  It does have an appealing flavor.  My wife has cooked chili in the past with bittersweet chocolate.  The Aztecs would often mix chocolate and chili in various dishes.  I find that it gives an earthy taste to chili.  When it comes to this dual argument of the ladies, I agree with both but not excessively as t could cause me great harm.

Chili to me has so many variable properties and alternatives.  I guess this is why there are countless chili competitions and cook-offs around the country.  I will make a traditional batch with ground beef and red kidney beans but I will also use ground turkey, sliced sausages, and even stew beef.

Then there is chicken chili with white beans and white onion that, if made using the right ingredients, actually turns out to be a rather healthy dish.

Gone are the days when I used to make what I affectionately called Death Chili.  I used spicy chorizo, whole dried ancho and chipotle peppers (which would rehydrate as it cooked, seeds and stems and all), and the hottest chili powder I could find.   This was nearly twenty five years ago in my Single Guy days when the whole purpose was to make the hottest chili you could and see who could survive.  Nowadays I fully recognize that Heat is not flavorful in and of itself.

In these times when life is very busy, there is nothing like whipping up a batch of chili in a large crock pot and have a full and hearty dinner waiting for you when you get home.  Naturally caution must be considered if you plan on drinking a few beers with it that you don’t wind up “gassing” up the office the next day at work.


  1. lawrenceez said,

    October 20, 2010 at 3:26 am

    Fascinating. In the UK, lot’s of people eat garlic, but I tend to stick to simple whole foods.


    • tikiman1962 said,

      October 20, 2010 at 12:07 pm

      I remember going through a period where my wife suggested we add sliced garlic to things like salads, uncooked, just raw. Now I am an avid advocate of cooking with garlic. In our family there is an expression: There’s no such thing as too much garlic. However, the raw stuff was a little too pungent and overwhelmed everything else. I’ll stick with it in cooking.


  2. Sharyl Friebus said,

    October 20, 2010 at 8:25 am

    I enjoyed this article for multiple reasons (and not just because I am the sister-in-law who loves vinegar and loathes chocolate in her chili). Reading it made me excited for the onset of autumn weather, and the beginning of “the season” at Moms with her enormous pot of chili! I too remember the days when many people’s goal was too see who could make the hottest chili. I have been organizing my recipes these last few days and I came acrossed one (of many) that you gave me some time ago. It was the chicken chili with white beans. I plan to try it out this winter.


    • tikiman1962 said,

      October 20, 2010 at 12:04 pm

      Why not like the article because you are in it? It’s a good thing. And, yes, the white chicken chili is far easier to prepare and one hearty son of a gun. (I’m getting hungry!)


    • Shelia said,

      November 9, 2010 at 5:54 pm

      Little Sister one of these days I’m going to brew a batch of chili and you will love it and won’t have an inkling of an idea there is chocolate in it unless I choose to tell you so. But I won’t tell you when I plan to do this. It has to be a surprise. And since you’re starting to catch up to me in age where forgetfulness is unfortunately commonplace, you’ll forget you ever read this! Love ya. Always have. Always will.


      • tikiman1962 said,

        November 9, 2010 at 5:57 pm

        Note to all readers of my blog: I simply provide the forum for my wife and my sister-in-law to discuss culinary differences of opinions and age-related mental health disorders. I do not advocate anything more than intellectual discussion.
        Alas, it is my burden to bear.


  3. January 4, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    […] It’s Chili Season October 20106 comments 5 […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: