Many families ring in chilly weather by making chili. Each year, around this time, Crock Pots nationwide are dusted off in order to dub the season’s official start by making that first batch of iconic deep red soup, which consequentially- no one probably even thinks of as soup anymore. Did they ever? Because it’s chili, duh! The beans, the beef, the sight, the smell make it such. And eating it this time of year is that momentous. It’s a real custom that I can stand behind.
My tradition, as it applies to making this fall favorite, involves going to the grocery store to get ingredients for making a lovely batch of my own. Won’t the house smell wonderful? The slow cooker and that shiny bag of oyster crackers will effortlessly add to the Autumnal countertop ambiance.
With list in hand, I march in and head straight to the first ingredient for making chili. It is expected that I see something like, the last of summer’s green beans, and remember that there’s stuff in the freezer (broths and stocks) that should really be used soon. Next, I eye other ingredients that technically don’t belong in chilis but undeniably could make a wicked stir fry or something else.
One thing leads to the next and before you know it, my “Chili Weather Tradition” is in full swing. My shopping cart gets full of potatoes, carrots, squash or greens- pretty much anything except canned tomatoes and beans. The original recipe is abandoned in favor of using foods that I already have or have ended up walking out with, during my trip to the grocery store for specific ingredients. In all my life, I’ve never made chili but every year around this time, I’ll eat countless casseroles and soups that were once projected to be.