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Yee-Haw! Havin' a little Shindig!

We're having a BBQ at the co-op today. The rest of the committee voted on having a Country & Western theme, so that's what it is.

It's funny, though. Trying to find Country & Western decorations or knick knacks anywhere outside of a Party store is hard to do in Vancouver. If we were having an Asian themed party, no problem! Japanese, Chinese, Korean, you name it, there's at least 5 stores I can think of where I can buy stuff. Or I can just go to the Crystal Mall at Metro and it's probably all there. Or Richmond, whatever.

Country? Man. Not here. I was immersed in it when I was in Nashville. That's country town. Here, you can't even find a Sheriff's badge in the dollar store. The only thing I managed to find was a couple of felt almost-cowboy hats.

I figured if we were going Summer Country BBQ style, then we should have a chili cook-off and a Take the Cake baking contest. I don't think may people will bring things, but it fits the theme. And I made cool Blue Ribbons for the winners:



I also made up "wanted" posters for all the social committee members using this crazy Cowboy Name Generator. Very silly. Here's the one I made of me:

Jazzy girl already made her signature brownies and pumpkin squares. My chili is simmering away on the stove.

Question for all you chili fans out there: what makes a good chili? And feel free to argue GOOD vs AUTHENTIC and why authenticity is or is not important. Very interested in your opinions re: meat vs no meat, type of meat, etc etc etc.



( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 9th, 2015 12:26 am (UTC)
I think a chili needs to be a tomato based stew of sorts with spices and chili powder, and it should probably be fairly thick, but otherwise, I figure you can go wild. I like mine with meat and beans, sometimes a couple of different kinds of beans, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and whatever else I've got on hand. Then again, I've had some white chilis that are also plenty delicious. Also, I think the longer you cook it, the better, at least for the tomato-based chilis.
Aug. 12th, 2015 03:36 am (UTC)
Sounds like we're pretty similar. I like lots of different kinds of beans for variety in flavour and texture, and I always put in some sweet corn niblets for a splash of colour and a hint of sweet as a contrast against the spicy.

I've had some really nice white bean chicken chilis as well. Haven't made one, but I think I'd like to.
Aug. 9th, 2015 12:43 am (UTC)
No ground beef!

Cut up a roast instead. :)

Wanted poster is adorable.
Aug. 12th, 2015 03:37 am (UTC)
I've heard that - to use a roast instead. I've used left over roast in quick chili, but have never made it from scratch with roast instead of ground beef. Might have to try that.

Glad you liked the wanted poster - it was fun!
Aug. 9th, 2015 01:58 pm (UTC)
I make an incredibly English version of chilli - not even a quality version, but the recipe handed from generation to generation of students! But both husband and daughter say this is their favourite - preferred to all 'more authentic' versions, and is the one D-d now cooks for friends.

Brown the best quality minced beef you can afford, add chopped onion, garlic, a handful of mixed herbs and a couple of spoonfuls of chopped chillies from a jar.

Throw in a tin or two of chopped tomatoes, a tin of kidney beans (preferably the ones in chilli sauce), and a tin of baked beans, or two tins if you need to pad it out further! Simmer. in last ten minutes or so add a few squares of good quality dark chocolate - if too poor to afford good chocolate a spoonful of cocoa powder will do.

Eat with rice, or with baked potatoes and coleslaw!

See - horrible British, really totally unauthentic, cheap, comfort food :)
Aug. 12th, 2015 03:40 am (UTC)
Ha! That sounds delightful! I sometimes use cocoa in some Mexican dishes - cheater Mole sauce, anyone? But have never tried in Chili. That sounds tasty.

I tend to use at least 3 seeded and chopped fresh jalapenos, or my kids tell me it's too bland.

And rice on the side is a big winner here - sometimes, if I used tinned tomatoes that seem like they have too much juice, I throw in a cup of rice and let it cook right in there with the chili.
Aug. 9th, 2015 05:04 pm (UTC)
The SO has gotten to the point that he looks annoyed/sad if I try to 'change' anything he considers classic.

So chili in our house is the ground beef / kidney beans / tomato sauce / onion / chili powder combo that isn't always considered chili by purists.

But it's comfort food and what we're used to.

Although I'm thinking about the suggestion from curiouswombat to add dark chocolate... but that risks that frown of "what did you do different?" ::grin::

Have fun!
Aug. 12th, 2015 03:42 am (UTC)
That sounds like a perfectly wonderful chili. It's my base recipe - I usually tend to embellish a bit, but there have been plenty of times that we only had the basics and that's how I made it.

That dark chocolate really does sound like a good idea...
Aug. 10th, 2015 06:28 pm (UTC)
Damn; didn't check in & missed it. Haven't seen you guys in a while :(
Aug. 12th, 2015 03:42 am (UTC)
Maybe next time!
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )


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