Sunday, April 19, 2009

Chilly And Chili Sunday

It was about twenty degrees colder today than yesterday, but it did get up to the low sixties by late afternoon. It is supposed to be kind of cold all week too, with rain to boot. Makes me miss Mexico a bit.

A nice bowl of steaming oatmeal was a good way to start the day, but no dried bananas.

The Real Thing


Just one left after this one, and that will be for lunch. I couldn't just stir the fresh, well, kind of fresh, banana into a thick oatmeal so I added some milk to kind of thin it out.

My Morning Oatmeal


Those are raisins floating in there, by the way.

My afternoon sandwich worked out just perfectly, my last banana and the last two slices of my loaf of bread.

All Good Things...


A chilly Sunday afternoon is just the right weather to inspire some creative chili making. And, given my dearth of ingredients, I would have to be creative.

First, I started with the last of my black beans that had been imprisoned in this jar for the past several days.

Beans Who Sprout In Glass Houses


And I broke out the last of my pork stock.

Blump's Pork Juice, Chunky Style


For anyone who got the chunky style pork juice reference, you should see the movie The Million Dollar Hotel. How many movies can you name that either have a guy growing a third arm or a guy who has had one removed? Oh, and the first movie, The Dark Backward, had both Wayne Newton and James Caan in it, along with Rob Lowe, Judd Nelson, Bill Paxton, and Lara Flynn Boyle (Twin Peaks, anyone). The Million Dollar Hotel starred Mel Gibson. I bet you are wondering how you could have missed these classics. And how I could possibly have inserted a reference to them in this post.

But, enough of a digression. Put the beans and pork stock together in a pot and turn on the heat and, well, that is how you cook the beans.

The Creature In The Black Lagoon


While the beans were cooking away, you first bring them to a boil and then simmer them, I got to work on the rest of the ingredients.

My Potato


Peeled And Diced


I gave them a quick fry in some olive oil and then set them aside for a bit.

Frying, But Just A Bit


Next, the onion and garlic.

In Their Natural State


I just gave the onion a coarse chop and sliced the garlic fairly thick. I didn't want everything to just fall apart in my chili. I like a bit of chew to it.

Coarse And Thick, Kind Of Like Barman


I shook the onions and garlic with some salt and lots of chili powder (only 79 cents at Rite Aide) and then sauteed them in some olive oil just until they turned a little tender.

Looks Kind Of Pretty


My carrots are still holding up, and there are still a lot of them left. I figured this would be a good time to get rid of a couple of them, though.

Two For The Pot


Well, First You Peel And Chop Them


Then I threw everything, potato, onion, garlic, and carrots, into the pot.

Everyone Into The Pool


And I still had the meat to play with.

My Meat


I cut the meat into about 1/2 inch cubes. Maybe a little less because the "steak" was cut thinner than that.

All Diced Up


I shook the meat up with some salt and more garlic powder and then quickly browned it in my trusty little frying pan.

Red And Browning


The last ingredient was the half can, about 14 ounces, of crushed tomatoes that I had left over from when I made spaghetti sauce.

The Final Ingredient


I threw the meat and the crushed tomatoes into the pot and let it simmer for about another half an hour and when it was all over, I had my dinner.

A Chili Delight


I thought it was pretty darn tasty, too. Maybe it wouldn't win any ribbons in a chili contest, but I bet if you had been herding cows all day you would think this was a mighty fine supper. I hadn't been herding cows, and I really liked it. In fact I had two bowls. And there was still plenty left over.

My Leftovers


One container doesn't have any meat in it. I figured I would use that for a spaghetti sauce and then have the spaghetti with a steak or a chicken. Probably both, because I think there will be enough to have two spaghetti dinners. The other two, heavily laden with meat, will each make a very hearty dinner in their own right.

If I was ever to do this again I would make the things like pea soup and chili earlier in the month. I now have three containers of pea soup and two containers of chili left and only twelve days to go. Factor in a couple of spaghetti dinners, left over pork with rice and beans, a couple more packages of left over pork and two more "steaks" not counting the one with the spaghetti dinner and I will run out of days before I run out of food. And I still have a big hunk of that beef roast that I haven't done anything with. I can probably have pea soup for lunch a couple days and then have a lighter dinner.

I really don't see what else I need to buy except another loaf of bread, probably another jar of peanut butter, some bananas, and a few more grapefruits or oranges. I will spring for another pound of coffee too. Maybe upgrade a bit from the Key Food brand. It isn't very good. I might need some more oatmeal too, and a few more dried bananas. I have plenty of raisins left. I bought way, way too much rice at the start of this thing too. My 18 eggs held up pretty well too. I have at least half a dozen left. I hadn't counted on liking oatmeal so much and thought I would be eating more eggs for breakfast.

If I was going to continue this experiment for another month, or if I was actually living on food stamps, I would invest any leftover money to build up my spice cabinet a bit. Also, I would get off my duff and actually go to Chinatown and buy some fish. Kind of late in the game for that now, though. I am not lacking for protein.

Yankees are looking good, only gave up 14 runs in one inning the other night. And the cameras are being very careful not to show the empty seats, the expensive ones behind home plate. Reminds me of how they used to do that at the Knicks game. I loved it when they would announce sell outs and you would be looking around at a half empty house. It turned out the Knicks were buying the extra tickets so they could claim a sell out. A bit devious, I always thought. I wonder if they are announcing the paid attendance at the Yankees games.

I wonder what it is about New York teams. They spend so much money on talent you would think they would be winning championships every year. Compared to the Knicks, though, the Yankees are doing okay.