Thursday, December 15, 2011

Homemade Chili With Memories

The Cook-Off

 Beans, beans, beans all in a pot.
Chilies and onions sizzling hot.
Tomatoes and garlics and burger too!
Cover with a lid and let 'er stew!
Judges everywhere tast'n and swish'n.
Throats a burn'n and ears a smok'n.
I hear from the mic, they called my name!
A BLUE RIBBON they gave me...

poem by Nancy Craig ©

(Yes, I won a blue ribbon at a chili cook-off!)
Chili and beans cooking in my cast iron pot.

Pot of chili cooked slow all day. Yum.

I grew up in Southern California where the sun shines most of the time. The winters are not that cold and the rainy season is short.  A few days of rain here and there with lots of rainbows because the sun breaks through. The rainy season runs from November through March with lots of sun in between. I have memories of hot hot Thanksgivings and in the 90's on Christmas and New Years Day.  I looked forward to the first rain. For me it was a big deal and is one of my favorite memories. On the first day that it rained every year my mom would make a big pot of homemade chile along with a big pan of cornbread. I knew when I walked through the door after school, soaking wet, that there would be a pot of chili waiting. I could smell it as I got closer to our house and when I walked through the door I would say something like, "I smell chili" and my mom always acted surprised that I could smell it that far away! When I was raising my children I started the same tradition. The first rainy day of the season I made chili and cornbread. It rains more than just a little bit where I live now and I have continued the tradition even though my children are all grown up and have moved on. My husband learned quickly that if it rains there will most likely be a big pot of homemade chili and cornbread smelling up the place. It rains a whole lot here so I make it the first rain and then at least once a month until the cold weather is over. There is nothing as cozy or delicious as a bowl of chili and a side of cornbread to warm you up as you watch the rain pour down!!! It sure smells good in this house!

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