It's cold outside - last night it was 5 degrees below zero - (and it's headin' East, Les!) This is the time of the year when people are thinking of the inner warmth that CHILI brings. Our local college radio station is hosting their annual Rockabilly Chili contest, all over town God's Frozen People are firing up the Church Basements, and having their Chili Supper Fundraisers, and people are swapping recipes for the Best Chili as they prepare to watch Grown Men Being Paid Extraordinary Sums for Playing with Balls. Well, I've got a chili recipe, too that I'd like to share with our readers - Grandma's Chili.
Being asked to Grandma's house for Chili was a mixed blessing. I must warn you, this is the same Grandma that brought you Goose Lard Sandwiches, Klumpen (Doughy - woah-ie!), Pickled Carp, Ground Guts in the Turkey Stuffing, and other delights that made you wonder what happened to that Pig Head we saw in the basement last week... Well, my Grandma worked in the Shoe Factory, and didn't have much time for fancy-ass culinariness. She had a few recipes that German girls are born knowing. But she never considered herself a great cook. My grandpa was a contract painter, and when he came home, he was so hungry he'd eat the oilcloth off the kitchen table if you didn't feed him right away. They made a good pair. So, when Grandma set out to make chili, she did it differently than most.
Start out with a pound of hamburger from the Riverview Grocery Store. Send one of the kids, that's what kids are for.Fry it in the bottom of a soup kettle with some chopped onions. Don't brown it too much, just enough to let some of the grease out. DON'T drain the grease, though. Leave it in there.
Add at least two cans of Campbell's Tomato Soup. And two cans of water, at least.
And then, what would Chili be without beans? Two cans of Pork and Beans! Yes, Pork and Beans!
And the pasta! Add lots of Elbow Macaroni. Not cooked - just throw it in.Add just a little sprinkling of chili powder, just for flavor. Chili - in less than a half hour! The natural thick pasty-ness of the unrinsed macaroni would thicken the batch. The natural sweetness of the pork and beans combined with the natural sweetness of the tomato soup and gave the "chili" an unforgettable cloying sugariness. And the suspended grease from the hamburger would give the whole experience a "stick-to-your-ribs" "I've been FED" feeling that would send Grandpa reaching for the after-dinner beer.
As Grandpa would say: NOW, FRESS*!
*german - FEED!
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