Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Gray Girl Garden Chili

Poe photo bombed our picture.
This started out as mom's chili, but K.E.G and I borrowed it and made it our own. Every Tuesday night is bean night at the Grays. It's a tradition that has lasted through the years, and no matter how many times we eat them, I cannot get enough of those beans!

When Mother Judith and Dad first got married, they were trying to be economical and stay within a budget. Thus, they ate beans. It took many a pots of beans to please the man's palate, but Mother Judith finally did it. My cousins use to call it "Uncle Rick's Beans" because there was always a pot ready for them when they came over.

Through the years, they expanded their cuisines, and beans were eaten a lot less. Soon, the beans were lost in culinary memories. Fast-forwards a few years, bean night found itself back on the kitchen counter! The only person who really liked them at the time was K.E.G. The first meal Mother Judith made for K.E.G's return home from the hospital was beans. She could not eat them, but MJ thought the smell would welcome her home and reawaken memories.

Now the bean tradition has expanded to regular chili night's made by K.E.G and myself. After Tuesday night beans, we always have some left over! So we started making the chili!

It is called a garden chili because you can add whatever is in season into the chili. This summer we added zucchinis, fresh tomatoes, fresh onions, and peppers from our plots to the crock pot. This recipe is flexible, just add whatever else you want!

Gray Girl Garden Chili:

Core Recipe
  • 1 lb ground beef, cooked
  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 3 cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup corn
  • 14 ounces tomato paste, canned or made fresh. Here is the recipe.
  • 3 cups of cooked beans 
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Today's add-ons:
  • 2 cups chopped zucchinis
  • 1 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
Combine in a crock pot, or pot, and let cook for a few hours, or until hot. It will start off looking too thick, but will eventually thin out. Add cheese and enjoy! For a real treat, pour chili over Fritos, add cheese, and you got yourself a Frito Boat! You will not regret eating it!

The chili will never taste the same each time you make it, which makes it fun! It's always a delicious surprise.

Nancy Jane

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