Posted tagged ‘chili’

“The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found.”

February 24, 2017

I was shocked when I went to get the newspapers. It was far warmer than I expected. It’s a deck day, a winter deck day. I’m going to finish here and get outside to enjoy the warmth before it disappears.

I am very late because I went to buy Chinese food for lunch. I had a hankering. After Gracie and I got home, I had to eat before my food got cold. It was totally delicious which is a good thing as that Chinese food, now a leftover, will also be my supper.

I have favorite leftovers. My chili is better on the second day so I make it a day ahead. That means, stay with me now, we are eating a leftover, a sort of leftover anyway, the first time I serve it. It is the same with my sausage cacciatore. I figure the tomatoes are what makes the dishes better the second day. They get to meld with everything else overnight. Dinner of Thanksgiving leftovers is almost as good as the original meal.

When I was a kid, a dinner of all the Thanksgiving leftovers was almost as good as the original meal. I know the turkey generally outlasts its welcome and is sometimes greeted with groans of not again, but for a few days after Thanksgiving, the turkey appeared in every meal except breakfast, and we never complained. The turkey sandwich was my favorite. On the toasted bread, I piled turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing. I used mayo.

I made meatloaf a couple of weeks back. I had it with mashed potatoes and peas, my favorite combination. That was my dinner for two nights then the leftover meatloaf became an always delicious sandwich for my lunch. I use mayo.

I know people who won’t eat leftovers. Their reasons are seldom rational. The favorite answer is,”I don’t eat them because I don’t like them.” A why don’t you like them never gets an answer.

I bought dog food yesterday and I also bought 2 boxes of girl scout cookies. A friend at Agway stores the cookies for her daughter. My favorite used to be thin mints, but now I buy tagalongs which are peanut butter and chocolate, known elixirs for what ails us.

“There is no sincerer love than the love of food.”

August 15, 2016

My doors and windows are open. I have rejoined the world if only for a while. There is a breeze coming from the north, the window behind me, keeping the den cool, and the sun is still working its way around so it’s also dark. The weather report is for heat but less humidity so I’m taking advantage and giving the house some fresh air before the onslaught of the heat.

My life of late has been boring. Staying inside the house doesn’t make for adventure, for stories. I do have to go to the dump, but that’s not a plot line for a good story. It’s just trash.

My neighborhood is quiet. I have no idea where the kids are. There are 9 of them on this street. I’m thinking it’s difficult to hide them all. Perhaps their parents are using gags and tricking the kids into thinking it’s a game. When you’re little you believe everything your parents tell you. That’s why I didn’t eat Chinese food until I was around ten or eleven.

I’ve tried salmon a couple of times but I still don’t like it. It’s the only fish I haven’t liked. No respectable fish is pink and why don’t you pronounce the l?

I make a great chili. It is a recipe from my brother-in-law. In his recipe, Rod has beans listed. For my copy, he also has a footnote: if making chili for me, don’t add the beans. I have never made chili with beans. My defense is that real chili has no beans.

I eat a lot of chicken. It’s not all that expensive and chicken recipes number in the millions. I like chicken thighs and think they are the tastiest part of the chicken.When I go out for a casual dinner, I usually order a cheeseburger.

When I go out for a casual dinner, I usually order a cheeseburger with onion rings on the side, but one pub where I eat doesn’t make onion rings at night, only during lunch, so I order French fries. I don’t eat my fries with ketchup; instead, I dip them in mayonnaise. I seldom use salt, but I do salt my fries. They seem to taste better that way.

My mother told us stories about World War II and rationing. She said they seldom got butter so they used oleo instead. It was white but it came with packets of yellow to make it butter-like. When I was a kid, my mother never bought oleo. Having it in the war was enough for her; instead, she always bought butter. My sisters and I still do.

I remember a lunch at a friend’s house.  She made sandwiches with salmon and dessert with peaches. I ate both of them out of courtesy. It rates as the worse lunch in my memory drawers.

“We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are.”

March 4, 2011

When the sun is bright, I am easily duped into thinking the day is warm. It isn’t, but I’ll accept being easily duped. Looks like the birds need their feeders filled. I’ll bundle up a bit later and go out on the deck with my bag of sunflower seeds.

Tonight is chili night while we watch The Amazing Race from last Sunday when we watched the Oscars instead. The chili is cooking and will cook all day long. I’ve  some corn bread and toppings to serve with it. I haven’t made my guacamole yet and won’t until just before my friends come. The only thing left is the dessert, and I have no idea what we’ll be having yet.

Italian and Chinese were the most exotic foods my mother served us. That was a good thing as we probably would have turned our noses up at most other foods. She started us out with American chop suey, not at all related to its Chinese cousin, but it was her way of sneaking bean sprouts into our diet. Later we’d order out at the China Moon. It was until my two years in Africa that I was introduced to all sorts of exotic, strange foods.

I ate Indian food at the Maharajah. It was near High Street and was on the top floor of a retail building. The walls went only halfway up so we could hear the hustle and bustle from the street below us. We sat on cushions, and I thought the restaurant was the most one exotic one I’d ever seen. There were lots of red cushions and curtains and tassels. I don’t even remember what I ate, but I must have enjoyed it as I still like Indian food. Hummus, tabbouleh and falafel were next, and it was a good thing I didn’t know anything about them because the mere mention of chickpeas would have put me off. I still like my hummus the way it was served at Tahal’s in Accra: a ring of hummus on a flat plate with sesame oil in the middle and red pepper in a ring around the outside of the hummus.

I ate food from the street vendors. Lots of times I didn’t know what I was eating, and I knew not to ask. I decided if it tasted good, that was enough. I have made Ghanaian food here for my friends to taste, but that was a long time ago. I am hankering for some kelewele and jollof rice. Maybe that will be my next offering. Luckily my friends are adventurous and will try most anything. They too have learned not to ask what is in any dish I serve.

“Nothing is permanent”

May 5, 2010

These wonderfully sunny, warm days are a welcome surprise this early in the season, but I am still leery of New England spring weather, especially here on the Cape. The paper claims it will be 69° today. I’d like to believe it, but the skeptic in me has the upper hand. After all, I have lived in New England most of my life and never take the weather for granted.

The sky is the most remarkable blue, deep and dark, and the color spans from one side of my world to the other, from horizon to horizon. Not a cloud can be seen.

My house is redolent with the aroma of chili. Today is Cinco de Mayo, and I have company coming for dinner. I made the chili yesterday, cooked it for a while, put it in the fridge then started it in the crock pot earlier this morning. The other dishes are timed on my flow chart, and I’ll begin when I finish here. The Mexican crockery is washed and ready. I have even started decorating the house. I love that I can entertain on school nights now.

Mammy wagons or mammy lorries were for traveling between towns in Ghana. Most had slogans across the front and back. God was prominent and Trust in God was common. I always thought it was because mammy lorries were barely safe. The passenger part was open on three sides and you sat on a bleacher like seat. There was little to hold on to when the wagon traveled curvy, bumpy laterite roads. I always sat in the middle figuring the people on each side were buffers. No time to die was another common slogan, and that was easily my mantra when traveling on mammy lorries.

Store signs were also amazing in Ghana. The colors were wonderful with lots of bright reds, greens and yellows in imitation of the flag. In Bolga, I could shop at the Praise the Lord or God Will Provide small open stores. Their signs were hand drawn and painted by the owners. My favorites of all the signs were in front of barber shops. Crudely drawn heads showed a variety of hair cut choices mostly from the side or backs views. All the faces were smiling.

The sign I most remember in my town was posted on the sides of buildings. Don’t spit, it spreads tuberculous was its message. Most people spit anyway. It was no big deal.

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