Anyone who know us, knows that DH doesn’t like to eat spicy things, and he sure doesn’t want anything with heat, say something with chili powder! His own mother did not use spice. She used salt and onion, some sugar. She was from Southern stock so not sure why she favored bland tastes.
Then again, I am not sure where my own spiciness came from. The Irish eat rather blandly,and I DO love any potato, as my hips can attest to. The touch of German has the kick of sauerkraut and garlic coleslaw which I love…cabbage! Cherokee, no, there is no chili powder much there, although maybe the Oklahoma people picked it up from Hispanic neighbors. Anyway, my own dad loved hot things and my sons eat spicy. One son eats Buffalo wings that make him sweat profusely; I don’t go that far.
DH has one hot weakness though. He loves those hot pickled sausages sold in speciality jars. My dad got them wholesale in huge, canister-sized jars when a doctor prescribed (yep, he did) a quart of beer once a day for kidney stones. My dad worked hard outside in heat and cold; he looked forward to that beer and a hot sausage right after work and just before he cleaned up for the evening. Now, he shared those sausages which we all ate. We girls would slice them in to circles and eat them on white crackers. Yum, for the burn and the salt.
When DH began hanging around the house, he loved those sausages and Dad gladly shared with him too. Dad gave me a hard time about it though. He said that every night he would go to bed with a near full crock, and in the morning it was a third empty from our “night caller” who didn’t like spice or heat! DH loved those hot sausages to this day, but we rarely buy them. Nothing else hot will do though.
This spring I have finally found a combination for a chili pot around here that works. First of all, I use ground turkey since we have to limit the use of red meat. I brown about four pounds with an onion, a little garlic. Then I add moderate salt, a tablespoon of chili pepper (although I would like three!) and another tablespoon or so of cumin. Stir in tomatoes or tomato soup or whatever and cook slowly. About fifteen minutes before serving add canned or pre-cooked beans. I use a combination of kidney, pinto and black beans. I also set out some kind of pepper or hot sauce for my own bowl!
Which brings to mind a question: how do you eat your chili? Do you crumble crackers in the bowl, use catsup, or add cheese? I always add a spoon of vinegar to my chili, and one of my college professors said he never saw anyone outside the state of Kansas to do such a thing. Is this just a Kansas trait? Do YOU use vinegar in your chili?