The Queue: Chili is great for when it’s 99 degrees outside
Look at this. It’s going to be a high of 99 today with a probable heat index of over 100. Just over a month ago it was snowing and freezing outside. What does that mean? You’ve got it. This Queue is about chili.
Hey Adam, what’s the best chili recipe?
Each time you make chili you’re creating art. No two pieces of artwork are ever the same, no matter how hard you try. The perfect chili recipe is one the attends to your personal mood the day you make it, both in the morning as it is first put together, in the afternoon when you check on it, and right before dinner when you serve it. Perfection is obtained in that the dish in front of you represents your will and very being, a reflection of whatever soul you might be carrying in your frail human body brought froward into edible form by your attention to detail and mastery of seasoning. It is an art form, and while what follows is not a recipe but an essay on the elements of that frail humanity put into chilious form.
My ideal chili starts off with some basic things:
- Kielbasa Sausage
- Three types of beans (you pick)
The addition of the Kielbasa was something my wife and I stumbled upon years ago and we’ve found that it adds a certain sweetness to the mix. If I’m in an adventurous mood I’ll cook it before hand a bit and add in a fair amount of honey while cooking, leaving it glazed with a bit of texture on it. That’s damn good, although you have to be very attentive when working with the honey or else the sausage is just going to be burnt to a crisp. We’ve also let the sausages marinade in a spirit overnight, which means by the end of the meal you’re probably feeling quite happy.
You’ll notice two things I left off: tomato sauce and seasoning. Use whatever tomato sauce you want, it can be the cheap stuff. Don’t use cheap beef and sausage though. The beef needs to have fat in it. If you feel bad about eating something so fatty you’re doing it right.
As far as the seasoning goes, I’ve had success using the McCormick mix packets, my own blends, stuff I’ve read on the internet, etc… honestly it all works in the beginning. What you want when you start out is a base chili that tastes like chili and not something you just threw in the slow cooker and let go for eight hours.
Onto the slow cooker … yes, use one of these. Set it to low and let it go for 4 hours. Come back and then start to add in your other seasoning. My recommendation is onion salt, red peppers, chili powder, regular salt, pepper, nutmeg (a very little), and garlic powder (careful with this). Mix these together as you see fit and don’t be afraid to try it out in a small bowl before you commit to the entire batch. I never, ever use a measuring spoon. As I said, a good chili is a reflection of your soul, and your wealth as a good person can never be measured.
At your 4 hour checkin you’ll also want to add in beans, onions, chopped tomatoes, bell peppers, and whatever else your muse is telling you to commit to the batch.
When you’re getting close to serving, sneak back to the mix before anyone can see you. You need to be alone for this. It’s a private moment between yourself and whatever god you do or don’t believe in; for no matter your belief the universe has lead you to this very moment, billions of years and uncountable combinations of atoms and subatomic particles have you walking into the kitchen to apply your final touch to your creation. I dim the lights, turn on softly Mahler’s 2nd Symphony, and just breathe. Take in the aroma, feel the spices you put into the mix before and let them overtake you as if your first kiss with the one you love most lasted forever. Sense the chili as a living object, treat it as yours that you are about to allow forth into the world so it can experience the wonders of humanity, and humanity can bask in its radiance. It’s okay if you want to let a single tear drop down your face, I have. It is nothing more than a sign of respect.
Any tweaks you make to the mix now must be delicate and deliberate. There is no room for error. Do not remove any of the chili for a testing bowl to try a new flavor, whatever you get will be taking only part of the soul and not the whole delight. Taste with a small spoon, have five or six of these ready for each tweak you make.
The final change I add, about five minutes prior to serving while the lights are dimmed and the table is set; is a small amount of sugar. I make sure a single layer of grains cover most of the top of the chili, and then I mix it tenderly in, ensuring the chili knows that this is my final testament to its greatness.
When the chili is served, discourage use of crackers, cheese, sour cream, etc… If people must use those items, it is polite at this point to ask them to sit away from you and the others that are enjoying the dish in its intended form. These people may decide not to be your friends or love you after you’ve asked them to depart your presence, but that’s okay. We must draw our lines of respect, lest we fall into the void.
Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy my friends! For you have created something wonderful and unique. Your creation is out into the world, and the next week you partake on the adventure again.
Also chili is more interesting than dragon sex.
QtfQ: Why do the dragons of Pandaria not have wings?
I mean, yes, it’s an aesthetic thing for the asian influence, but lore-wise, what caused them (pre-sundering) to lose their wings? Was it only the Jade Serpent pre-sundering, or all of them? Was it their isolation in the mist, and if so, what specifically allowed them to keep flight but not wings? This was more than just “magic did it–we’ve seen from the stormdrakes that there is evolutionary influences.
This is an interesting question, because it gets at the root of the word dragon. Obviously in modern western fiction we have dragons as mighty beasts with wings and all sorts of adornments (potentially), while in some easter European and Asian mythology the dragon lacks wings and is seen in more of a wise figure that is to be revered (although that is not 100% of the case, obviously).
I think it’s a bit too much to read into the use of the words here in WoW. I’d argue that they never had wings to begin with, and are not of the dragon flights but their own species with their own agenda, etc…
If someone ever says that the world(s) in WoW is small; I’ve been flying around on my Void Elf to fully explore all zones – 6 hours in so far and I haven’t even touched Northrend, Pandaria or Draenor yet.
So I’ve completely moved to a void elf priest as my main, and I can attest to how true this is. I think we, and others, often lose sight of how massive this game actually is, that you can get lost in stories that are 10-years old for a year and still have more to do.
I’d eventually like to reply the entire game on my new main; I don’t know if that’s ever going to be possible. Perhaps someday in a few years … but not for a very long time.
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