{ Monday, January 27, 2003 }

In Which I Pretend to be Able to Cook.

How to Make Vegetarian Chili.

Bitch and moan about there being nothing to eat. Bitch and moan about being too cold to go into the other room and confirm that there is nothing to eat. Realize if you made a vat of chili, you could eat for days. And be warm.

Drive to the grocery store. Have some minor drama involving traffic circles and snow. Wonder why there is a traffic circle in Kentucky anyway. On the third pass through the loop, exit with confidence that this really is the right street.

Purchase the following items: 3 medium cans of chili beans, 2 packages of faux meat (I use Smart Ground), 1 large and 1 small can of tomatoes, 2 small cans of corn, a canister of chili seasoning, a bag of carrots, a green pepper and an onion. Realize that you know nothing about fresh produce. Try to get your fellow shoppers to teach you how to select produce. Determine that Kentucky is not that friendly afterall maybe. Get distracted by fifteen pound bags of potatoes. Add a bag to your cart. Grab any onion and any green pepper and call them good enough.

While loading the car, somewhat accidentally aquire another fifteen pound bag of potatoes. Laugh at the absurdity of thirty pounds of potatoes. Drive home. Unload car. Plug in can opener.

Throw the ingredients into the pot. As you are adding the last carrot (I use three), accept that this pot is too full. Spend some quality time trying to decide what to do about that. Finally conclude that you have to at least mix it in one pot and can boil it in two pots. Accept that you are now officially making more than one gallon of chili. Dump entire canister of seasoning in there. Mix very very carefully. Explain to the cat that he has no one to blame but himself. I mean, you have chili on your feet too now, right? Are you whining? No. Messes happen when you're trying to stir about 6 quarts of chili in a 4 quart pot.

Now you know why your mother and grandmother only cook in enormous vats. Clearly, this problem is genetic. Bail first pot out into second pot. Marvel at the quantity of chili.

Realize you are now late to pick up your roommate at school. Abandon chili to the more capable hands of another roommate and go get first roommate. Come home. Check the carrots. They aren't soft yet. Watch As the World Turns stirring during each commercial break. Go ahead and eat a bowl even though it's not done. Encourage roommates to do the same. Recombine two pots now that three bowls are missing and it has cooked down some. Marvel at the fact that there's still about a gallon of chili in that pot.

Realize that at some point you are going to have to store this chili. Thank stars for the upstairs fridge. Realize that this will all have to go into something if you are going to store it. Curse. Resolve to invite boys who have taken any of you out to dinner over for chili at your house. Modify that only to include the ones you actually want to see. Realize those boys are going to have to eat a lot of chili....

Yeah so, um, Kristie and I made, um, well, more than a gallon of chili today. Actual retail price <$20 including the thirty pounds of potatoes. And some spaghetti. See, cause we knew we were making a lot. And we would need variation. That's also why all the vegetables. So we don't have to worry too much about the nutrition involved.

What we didn't realize (well, she mentioned it and I dismissed her concerns), was that we don't actually have a single pot in this house that will hold that much chili. And we certainly don't have enough Tupperware. We're thinking we'll use the drink pitcher and if we can get enough eaten before tonight, it'll work. I actually have chili on the hems of my pants from the mess surrounding the stove from the fiasco involved in stirring a pot that overfull.

posted by mary ann 1:51 PM