Life is interconnected and so are the topics on this blog. It might be cooking and gardening one day, yoga the next, knitting and sewing, or hiking and then bird watching followed by recycling or composting. They are the parts that bring humble joy to my life of voluntary simplicity in Montana.
I realized that I had turned a food milestone. My leftover options for lunch were homemade chili or a couple slices of pizza from my favorite pizza place. I picked up the pizza as it seemed the natural choice. We rarely eat out so I don't get a Zpizza too often. But, then I saw that pot of chili and thought, "Hmmmm....I don't know....maybe I want chili again." In the end I took chili. It was pretty weird. I never thought there'd be a day where I'd choose chili over pizza. In fact, that decision was part of a sequence where I ate chili for six meals in a row...including a breakfast.
Since the tomatoes and peppers were coming ripe and the days are getting cooler it seemed only natural to make a pot of chili last week. And then a second pot a few days later. And then a third. And then a forth last night.
Having been in a bit of a tomato dry-spell, chili had been on my mind for a while. I don't know if it was the fact it had been a while, or that most of the ingredients came from my garden (or both), but that first pot of chili completely blew me away. I hadn't tasted something so satisfying and delicious in a while....which is saying something because I feel I eat pretty delicious foods every day. It was just so flavorful, fresh, and filling. It demanded to be repeated.
In my opinion chili is a fantastic meal because you can use whatever you've got handy. I do not have a chili recipe as a result of this. I can remember a time when I hated cooking without a recipe. I did not have much confidence in my skills in the kitchen. I've certainly turned a corner there too, but that one I was already aware of. Chili's adaptability not only means you can use whatever produce is available, but you can also make it spicy or mild, thick or thin, meaty or vegan, whatever you like! I lean towards the thin, spicy, vegan end of things (I love broth!). I believe that Matt like a thicker and milder chili than I do.
Here is breakdown of my most recent batches of chili:
Chili number 1: kidney beans, pinto beans, tomato juice, nardello peppers, cayenne pepper, stock, onion, rice, cumin, chili powder (with corn bread stuffing)
Chili number 2: kidney beans, pinto beans, lentils, tomato sauce, green bell peppers, 2 cayenne peppers, rice, onions, garlic, cumin, chili powder (with corn bread)
Chili number 3: lentils, tomato sauce, stock, onion, garlic, potatoes, kale, carrots, cumin, chili powder (with easy oatmeal bread)
Chili number 4: kidney beans, pinto beans, onion, garlic, spinach, potato, tomato, corn, stock, chili powder, cumin, jalapeno pepper, cayenne pepper. (with corn bread)
All slightly similar and yet each unique in its flavor and texture. In a way I hope I burn myself out on chili because of all this. I mean, really, I am trying not to eat ALL of my tomatoes in October! It is just so satisfying I can't help myself.