Forget whole grain, naturally sweetened cookies. For holiday gift-giving, nothing beats old-fashioned, sugar-filled treats, like this trio of Southern-style confections from Kate Williams.
I used to think chili had to have meat in it to be interesting. I figured the slow roasted beef in my recipe provided the stew’s deep and substantial flavors. So I was surprised to find that a vegetarian chili I recently made had its own complex flavors that were just as satisfying. And, unlike meat chili, the vegetarian variety only took an hour to prepare and cost less than $10 to make for a family of four.
I used to think chili was a mishmash of ground meat, powdered spices, and chopped bell peppers. This is, after all, how everyone made it when I was growing up. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized chili is really a stew. Historically, it’s more like Beef Bourguignon than a sloppy joe in that it’s made of chunks of meat, vegetables, and a simmering liquid. Sure, the vegetables are chilies, but the core starting point — slowly braised hunks of meat — are what make chile and other stews not only similar, but appealing in the first place.
So how do you make a great pot of meat chili? Let’s break the process down into easy categories.
Along with 4 million other people in Washington, I’m trying to figure out how to keep warm and dry while waiting (and waiting…) to witness history in the making. Fuzzy boots and mittens with hand warmers and puffy rain pants are my own fashion statement for this inaugural ceremony. And while the 44th POTUS settles into his luncheon, enjoying “A Brace of American Birds” beneath a painting of Yosemite Valley, I’ll be making my way very very very slowly back up to Tenleytown…to a crock pot full of warming chili.