Posted tagged ‘Chili con carne’

“Food should be fun.”

January 10, 2012

This morning I had to make a quick run to the grocery store to pick up my chili ingredients. My friends are coming over for chili, cornbread and some after dinner games. Right now the chili is happily bubbling ever so slightly on the stove. I’ll make the cornbread later then set the table and put out the fixings. I don’t like beans so my chili has no beans. You purists may cringe but my house, my chili!

I wish it were colder as I always think of chili as one of those warm you up hearty sort of meals. It is 45° and a beautiful day.

We never ate chili when I was a kid. My father was a meat and potatoes guy, and that’s what we ate for dinner most nights though my mother did add a vegetable or two. Spaghetti was about as exotic as my father’s dinner ever got and even that was a bit gross. He ate his spaghetti with stewed tomatoes on top, the way his mother, the worse cook in the world, used to make it. My mother made regular spaghetti with a meat sauce for herself and us. My father also had other strange tastes. He wouldn’t eat garlic except on garlic bread with his shrimp scampi. I used to cook a roast pork and hide the garlic slices in slits on the sides of the roast. He loved it until he caught my mother doing the same thing. She took out the garlic. Once I cooked the potatoes in the same pan as I had mushrooms and decided to leave the small pieces of mushroom to give the potato a different flavor. The mashed potatoes were a bit gray. My dad wanted to know why. I told them they were Eastham potatoes. He accepted my story and ate them happily even though he didn’t like mushrooms.

My father’s eyes served as his taste buds. If it didn’t look good, he wouldn’t eat it. No matter how much coaxing we did, he just wouldn’t try newe foods. I remember once we were eating hommos, and he mentioned it looked like wallpaper paste. Nope, he never did try it.

My uncle had a Korean wife and she cooked once for my family. My father ate only the food which looked a litttle like fried won tons with a filling. That looked familiar to him so he figured it was worth a try. The rest was way out of his comfort zone.

I tried to get my parents to visit me in Ghana. I never thought about the food. I just wanted them to see where I lived and how wonderful Ghana was. Thinking it over now, I guess my father would have been fine at breakfast with his eggs and toast, but he would have had chicken every single night, especially if he had come shopping with me. I’m laughing now at the idea of my father using his hand to pull off a chunk of t-zed, dip it in his soup bowl then eat it. Nope, it never would have happened.

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