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Chili Weather

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Another day. Another snow event. Seems to have become the norm around here. After the blizzard a few weeks back, I saw many people posting about the lack of chili ingredients in the local stores. There must have been a run on onions, beans, beef, and peppers.

Never one to be unprepared, I have figured out how to always be ready to make chili. Mostly crockpot chili. Yesterday while we were finishing up on a renovation task around here, I made sure that we had chili fixings, and put the pot on the counter.

Here’s how to be sure you don’t face a chili ingredient “emergency”.

I always have some sort of ground meat in the freezer. Mostly from the CSA or Friends and Farms. Beef, chicken or turkey. Depends on what I have two pounds available at the time. This time, I used CSA ground beef.

My stash from the pantry. I always have three items there. From Costco. Tomato paste. Diced tomatoes. Black beans. I also stock up on Harris Teeter’s beans when I see them on sale. This batch of chili used their organic chili beans in sauce.

In my freezer, from the summer, I have bags of roasted sweet peppers and of caramelized onions. If I can’t find onions at the store, or if I’m out of CSA onions, I can substitute. This time I used shallots, and the hot peppers left in the container from the olive bar. That’s where the heat was introduced in this chili.

cooking, birds and squirrel, attic 034

Then, there’s the four C’s.

cooking, birds and squirrel, attic 038

My secret to a sweet, hot chili. Those four ingredients pictured above. Add a little salt and pepper. Put everything into the crockpot. No, I don’t measure. Chili is such a forgiving recipe. Use more beans if you like. More peppers. More cilantro. Skip the cilantro. Whatever tastes best to you.

super bowl 2 006

There will be a couple of dinners out of my latest batch. So far though, we’re just thankful this is supposed to be less than a six inch snow event.

About AnnieRie

Retired, I am following my dream of living in quiet west Howard County, a rural oasis, not far from the urban chaos, but just far enough. I love to cook, bake, garden, and travel. I volunteer at Howard County Conservancy. I lead nature hikes, manage programs and show children all the wonders of nature, and the agricultural connection to their food.

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