Posted by: slow study | October 5, 2010

Dinner theater – chili

Yesterday I decided to make vegetarian chili.  You know, for the vegetarians in the house.  And Shawn.
I found a recipe online and it seemed easy enough.  I altered it slightly as I didn’t think any recipe in the world needed 5 onions.
Being lazy, I was hoping it would all fit into the crock pot so I wouldn’t have to monitor the cooking process.  Nope.  So I dragged out a giant black camping pot I have used exactly one other time (and I already forget why.  I DO remember feeling that I really really needed to have a giant camping pot for some reason…).
In went 3 kinds of beans, tomatoes, tomato juice, spices and 1 1/2 onions.  And 2 bay leaves.  Actual leaves.  I thought I would go to the spice aisle and it would all be ground up, but no.  Who knew you could go to the store and buy a bottle of leaves?  I’m no leaf connoisseur, but it seemed like a rip off for $2.48.
I set the concoction on the stove top to simmer.  I gave it an occasional stir.
The only real change I noticed over time was that the house was beginning to smell like a giant fart.  Nice.  I’m making dinner and it smells like I am brewing something silent but deadly.  I supposed this was a hidden benefit as it would help cover up the smell of the actual farts that would be produced later.
After two hours I decided to taste it, using a Lightning McQueen spoon because all the other spoons were in the dishwasher. It was pretty dull. Not the spoon, the chili.  The spoon was very festive and I felt myself saying KA-CHOW as I spooned up each bite.  But I was hoping it would be more flavorful. The chili needed something. 
Let’s be honest.  The chili needed…meat.
Still, this started as a vegetarian meal and was going to end that way.  I threw in some ground red pepper to at least give the chili some bite.
Amy was not impressed by my efforts.
She started off by sending a text to Shawn in all caps:  JUST TO LET YOU KNOW, DINNER IS DISGUSTING.
Then she sent him a photo of the foul mess that was placed before her.
Amy:  This looks gross.
Janet:  That’s how chili is supposed to look. 
Amy:  Do I have to eat this?
Janet:  Just taste it.
Anne, looking worried:  Do *I* have to eat it?
Amy shoved her bowl towards Anne.   “Anne can go first.”
Janet: For crying out loud.  Just take one bite and see what you think.
Amy touched the tip of her tongue to the spoon, possibly getting a tiny dab of sauce.
Janet: C’mon.
Amy gingerly took a bite and chewed with a look on her face that was reserved for Survivor contestants during eating challenges.
Amy: Get me some water!
A big production was made of swigging a bottle of Propel.
Amy:  How much of this do I have to eat?
Janet:  You don’t HAVE to eat any of it.  If you don’t like it, make yourself a veggie patty.
Amy, not wanting to tax herself with the enormous effort it would take to microwave a veggie patty, yet still trying to sound like she was being brave and sacrificial:  No, that’s okay.  I’ll eat this.
It took almost two bottles of water for Amy to choke down the chili, which she ate while she pinched her nostrils closed.
The gasping sounds she made as she tried to breathe and eat at the same time were of course very flattering to the chef.
By this time, the bread sticks came out of the oven.  I had been unable to find Bosco bread sticks (they have cheese baked inside), so I had tried the next best thing.  I had sliced open bread sticks and put sticks of mozzarella inside, baking them together so the cheese would melt.
Amy:  They look weird   They look like hot dog buns with cheese inside.
Anne:  That doesn’t even look like cheese.
Janet:  I’m so glad I could let you down once again.
Shawn, home by now and tasting the chili:  It’s okay.  It needs meat.


  1. All I have to say is, hahahahahahahahaha!! Too funny!

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