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Posts Tagged ‘chili’

Harriet’s Drag-The-Lake Chili

It was the 4th of July weekend many years ago when my family arrived at Grandma and Grandpa’s house and were welcomed by the chaos of police everywhere.  Earlier that day the neighbor guy was in his boat on the lake, fell out of his boat, and was unable to get back into the boat.  He was also unable to keep his head above water.

The weather was unseasonably cold that 4th of July weekend and the police and divers were chilled to the bone, so what does Grandma Harriet do?  She whips up a potful of chili.

It’s an easy chili to “whip up,” and because this steaming bowl of goodness is associated with that dreadful day at the lake we named the dish Harriet’s Drag-The-Lake Chili.  It seems sort of morbid, but the recipe is made with ingredients you can have in the pantry in case of an emergency feeding situation, morbid or not.  You don’t have to call it by the name its known by in my family, but you might want to make it.

1 pound hamburger, browned and drained (I add a small chopped onion to this)
1 can chili starter (Bush’s Chili Magic is perfect)
1 can tomato soup
2 cans spaghetti
1 spaghetti can of water
2 tablespoons chili powder.

Mix it all up and simmer for 20 minutes.

Husby and I recently had some on a cold winter day with a piece of warm cornbread on the side.  It really hit the spot, reminded me of Grandma Harriet, and there doesn’t need to be a bunch of officials dragging the lake to make it.

Easy and delicious, drowning neighbor not required.

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Happy President’s Day everyone!  Counting today I’ll have spent a week away from the day job.  Seems like it’s been forever; I don’t know if that’s good or bad.  The week in review:

1.  Husby and I spent two days at a retirement seminar offered by my day job.  Yes, that’s right, I’m gearing up for retirement.  It won’t be for a while yet but it’s smart (and exciting) to plan early.  I started my work as a public servant when I was very young so it follows that I will be able to retire when I’m very young.  Throughout the seminar I was reminded of all the great benefits offered to me which will be continued even after I stop working.  I guess all those years of getting up before the crack of dawn and trudging through the dreary and sometimes depressing days at my job are finally going to pay off.  Free at last, free at last.  Thank God Almighty I’m free at last.  Well, not quite yet, but the light at the end of the tunnel seems a lot brighter now.

2.  Day two of the seminar fell on Valentine’s Day.  I hope it was a lovey one for all of you.  Husby and I don’t make too big a deal out of the day ~ we exchange cards and either go out for dinner or make a special meal at home.  As we were out at the seminar already we decided to stop and have something to eat after we were done for the day.  We beat the Valentine’s Day rush and had a very satisfying meal at Joe’s Crab Shack.  Nothing says love like a big pot of shellfish.

3.  I took Friday off from the day job because it just didn’t make sense to go in after being away for two days and having a long weekend ahead of me.  My boss agreed it would be foolish to break up so much away time.  (I like a boss who thinks like that.)  I did some laundry, and of course some house cleaning.  The day was also filled up with lots of donking around on the computer.

4.  I felt like cooking up a pot of chili and some cornbread.  My mom made some cornbread for the Mardi Gras party she hosted the weekend before and it was so good I wanted some more.  The chili turned out pretty good, but the cornbread?  Yuck.  I used a recipe in one of my oldest cookbooks and it turns out they didn’t make sweet cornbread back in the olden days.  It called for only one teaspoon of sugar.  I thought that was strange when I was making it, but then thought my trusty book couldn’t be wrong.  Come to find out most other recipes call for at least one-quarter cup of sugar.  That’s what, twelve times more than I used?  What were you thinking, Miss Crocker?

5.  I got caught up with my magazine reading.  The issues went all the way back to September, and now I’m in the Christmas spirit for reading the December issues of my favorite publications.

6.  I did lots of writing.  I’m doing that a lot these days, mostly in the form of rambling nothings on my super secret private blog, but also the beginnings of a story.  I also started a few posts for this blog.  Husby and I shared a most delightful evening this weekend sans TV or even music, quiet except for the ticking of the cuckoo clock and the crackle of a fire in the fireplace  He read a book and I wrote.  I imagined that’s what we’d be doing if we lived in a little shack in the middle of Alaska, or if we lived a hundred years ago.  It seemed so contrary to what we normally do during the evening hours, but it was also a relief in a way.  Quiet, still nights are my favorite.

To keep you from being too bored with the trivial details of my weekend, suffice it to say I did what anyone would do with lots of time on her hands ~ anything I wanted.  After spending two days learning about retirement I spent a lot of time wondering if my retirement days would be like the long weekend had been.  I kind of hope not, because I wasn’t too productive.  On the other hand, I was very relaxed and didn’t bother to feel guilty about not being productive.

It’s back to the old grind tomorrow.  Back to serving the public and feeling like I don’t have enough free time to do the things I really want.  It won’t be long though, before every evening will be “good old Friday night.”*

*”Good old Friday night” was something my dad used to say when he was working full-time.  In my mind I hear him saying that almost every Friday when I drive home from work for the weekend.

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