Thanks for all the well wishes and congratulations on the chili cook off I won.
I still think it's kind of funny my ghostly brother told me I would win and I did.
Bean dishes are right up my alley. I always have bean something around. They are nutritional super foods. With a crockpot, making dried beans is super easy. So easy you can make them while you sleep.
Dried beans taste superior to canned beans. I think the judges tasted this too. I found out later, that I was the only one to use dried beans from scratch.
Also, I have my own unique ways of flavoring foods. People asked about what was in my chili when I started rattling off the seasonings, most were quite surprised when I got to these:
Old Bay Seasoning?
A look around my motorhome and I do seem to carry an astonishing array of herbs, spices and condiments. I wanted some red wine to throw in, but had to settle on some white cooking wine. Then I figured the balsamic vinegar would kick it up a notch tempered by the blackstrap molasses.
The grape jelly I had on hand by accident. I didn't buy it, no one else left it here, kind of a mystery where it came from. Years back I remember someone telling me something about the chili with the grape jelly always wins.
What is a tad embarrassing, is I do honestly believe I might have forgot to put the cumin in the chili.
What a riot! Probably the only time I made chili without cumin. To me, this is hilarious.
If chili is all you make with beans, consider branching out. Beans are like a white pallete to paint upon. They love to simmer and slow cook with lots of flavors. Once you make your own dried beans, it's easy to get used to their superior texture.
Occasionally I have leftover bean dishes. I love to take the last 1/2 to 1 cup of leftover beans and turn it into a dip or spread. Just whiz away and throw in something like crunchy onion or jalapeno to jazz it up. If it's too thin, whip with cream cheese. If it's too thick, toss in some V-8 juice. Makes for a healthy snack on not so healthy crackers. But if you fry up some corn tortillas, then corn plus beans make a complete protein, no need to eat meat.
Thanks for all the wonderful comments and emails.