Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Chilly Day Means A Chili Day

The other day was so chilly that I just could not get warm. I had vowed not to turn on the heat yet, so I put on my sweat shirt over a turtleneck, my sweat pants and warm socks. I felt a little silly to think this Yankee girl was so cold when the temperature was in the low 60's in the South. My blood must have thinned since we moved south. 

To take the chill off in the house, I decided to make an apple pie, which I did. It's a good thing I chose to do it then, too, as the apples would be good for nothing in a few more days.  Then I determined that I'd make chicken chili for dinner with corn bread.  I'm not a very fussy cook, but I can make an edible, and occaisionally 'delicious' meal.  So, I got out 3 cans of white beans, a can of Mexican style stewed tomatoes, a couple of whole chicken legs, a handful of green and red and yellow bell pepper strips from our frozen supply and an onion.  I cooked the chicken, then sauteed the chopped onion and peppers. After the chicken was cooked and cooled, I stripped it from the bones, and put it into the pot with the sauteed vegetables, immediately adding all the cans of beans and the tomatoes, which I chopped into small pieces. I stirred the combination and put it over a low burner to simmer.  It was ready to eat as soon as it had heated through.

I'd been telling my mother for some time that I would be making chicken chili 'soon.'  She repeatedly said that she didn't like chicken chili. I asked if she'd ever had it, and she didn't know, but the thought didn't 'enthuse' her, she said.  So, I filled a small bowl with the thick soup and marched across the street to her house, determined to get her to taste it.  Mom doesn't see much anymore, except a small periferal area. I told her I'd brought something for her to taste. She asked what it was, and I said, "Just taste it."  So she did, and said, "Mmmm that's good. What is it?"  I told her "chicken chili." Do you like it?" I asked.  She said, with a mischievous look, "I don't like chicken chili, do I?"  I gently punched her arm and said, with a grin,  "no, I guess you don't. Shall I take the rest back home?"  She said, "No, I'll eat if for supper."   Score one for me!  I decided that I'm going to do that with a lot of other foods that Mom says she doesn't like. It's kind of like feeding children, I guess. You have to introduce them to something before you tell them what it is!

The chili was hot and filling and very satisfying, especially with the cornbread, which I baked in my black iron skillet in the oven. (I'm convinced that the cast iron frying pan makes anything cooked in it taste better!)  The pie was 'pretty good' too, if I do say so myself!

Autumn weather brings out the cook in me. I enjoy making hearty meals that come with the cooler weather...meatloaf, stews, roasts, thick soups and chilis. I like to bake pies and cookies, cakes too, but not so much.  Looks like I'll be nudging the Chef husband to move over at the stove and counter for awhile!


  1. I have used cast iron pots and pans for years ! You are correct in that they do make anything taste better !
    The wife sometimes complains about the weight but I tell her it is good exercise ! Lift those pans LOL
    The chili sounds good,too.

  2. My folks retired to Florida and we tease them about how their blood thinned right out--LOL! They get chilly up here in Minnesota in the summertime unless it is over 80! ;)

    As soon as fall arrives I think of breads and soups and stews, too. Sounds delicious. :)