Great Chili Recipe

I'm going to call this one the greatest chili recipe ever. It also may be the easiest chili recipe to make. Either way, it is delicious and I will take you through the steps.

It was my turn to cook. I had some ground beef, a growling stomach and a beautiful wife. (That has nothing to do with the recipe but she is bound to read this.)

I last made chili a couple years ago but wanted an improved and easier recipe to follow. I found one I liked called Texas-Style Chili but we didn't have the needed ingredients. I had garlic and salt. That's about it. It is amazing how two things called chili could have completely different ingredients.

I often cook based on what I have handy and compensate by changing up the recipes. I will list the ingredients. Keep in my the measurements are in Metric. I will include Imperial but they aren't round numbers so you may have to make small adjustments. This what I used

Starting Chili Ingredients
0.368 kilograms of lean ground beef (0.81 pounds)
1 - 540 ml. can of Red Kidney Beans (2.3 cups)
1 - 540 ml. can of Chick Peas (Garbanzo beans) (2.3 cups)
3 medium size Sausages
1 and 1/2 cups of Chicken Broth
1 medium sliced Red Pepper
6 medium Mushrooms, sliced
A handful of cherry tomatoes
1/2 a Carrot, diced
1 clove Garlic, chopped or minced
2 teaspoons Sugar
2 teaspoons crushed Oregano
2 teaspoons Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed Chili Pepper
Tobasco sauce
3 tablespoons of Breadcrumbs or Cornmeal
cooking Oil
Simmer the vegetables

A lot of this is based on personal taste and, as I mentioned, what ingredients are available. For example, I like merguez sausages. The spices really complimented this recipe. Also, while my source recipe called for beef broth I substituted chicken broth. And, lastly, cornmeal was recommend, while I used rice flour breadcrumbs instead.
If you use dried beans, let them soak first. Then after drained add to the recipe. Canned beans can be rinsed and added to the mix.
The chili is almost done

In a large hot skillet, greased with your favourite cooking oil, brown the ground beef, garlic and sausages. You can drain off the excess fat at this point.

Stir in the chicken broth, sugar, oregano, cumin, chili pepper, salt and Tabasco.

Reduce the heat to a simmer. Leave covered for 30 minutes.
Add in the carrots, red pepper and tomatoes. Let simmer for 15 minutes.
Add the garbanzo and kidney beans. Stir and then add the breadcrumbs and mushrooms. Let simmer for 30-45 minutes.

Serve with corn bread or eat it by itself. Serves six. Enjoy! I will definitely make this batch of chili again. It was quick to prepare and a delicious recipe.
Serve the chili with a big spoon


H Is For Helpdesk

I called the helpdesk at work for a simple password reset.  So, this fellow overseas, after asking for my information then said, "Am I speaking to Sara?" Do I have to mention again that the helpdesk is offshore?

Really? Do I sound like Sara?

"So, let me confirm," he said. "Your employee I.D. is haychf4uhfn-blarg."

"What?!?!" I politely respond. "I did not understand what you said."

"With apologies," my colleague from across the water states. "Let me start over. H as in Hitler, 12345."

"Excuse me?" I say, "Would you mind repeating what you just said?"

"Yes, absolutely. H as in Hitler, 12..."

"Are you serious?" I interrupted. Did I just hear correctly?" Giving him every opportunity to change the path he is walking.

"Yes, I will repeat it, H as in Hitler, 12345."

"You have got to be kidding me!" I replied. "You should think about what you are saying before you speak. Is this how the company trains you? Your words are offensive."

"My sincere apologies for having offended you." He stammers, seemingly clueless as to why I was upset. "Is your I.D. H as in um, er, h-hotel, 12345."

"No," I reply. "It's S as in Stalin..."


The Walking Dead

Season three of the Walking Dead has come to an end on AMC. I have seen most every episode of The Walking Dead with the exception of a couple at the start of season three. Having read every single one of the graphic novels, I eagerly anticipated the 2010 premiere of the AMC television series when it first launched. And then every subsequent episode, from week to week. Why I missed a few recent episodes is another story. I will catch up over the summer hiatus.

Even though I've seen most every episode, I did not love the show at the start. But I was spellbound. I could not miss an episode. But I wouldn't say I loved The Walking Dead.

TWD and I did spend time together over the next three years and we have grown to love each other. This realization finally struck during the last season finale.

The Walking Dead Season 4
I have compared this series to Battlestar Galactica, the tremendous space adventure drama of just a couple years ago. Both series explored the human race's struggle to survive after being nearly wiped out. When devoid of all hope, a spark grows amongst the remaining survivors and from this small spark there is hope. Both series show the struggle of humans to survive, and while both being based in the fantastical science fiction, are rugged and believable.

BSG was a better show.

If you have read the graphic novels, or seen at least a number of the episodes, you know that the main characters are just as likely to die as the walk-ons. There are no designated red shirt wearers here.

This is a brutal show. Brutal in that it is filled with gore, murder, blood, despair, corruption. It also shows heroic characters filled with hope and passion to live. Characters willing to put everything on the line so that their friends and family survive the living nightmare. And not to mention powerful acting and superior writing.

Forget about the zombie genre for a moment, why has post-apocalyptic literature been so popular over the decades?

From The Day of the Triffids, The Chrysalids to The Stand and The Road. Popular novels and each having been made into film. And  not to mention the Mad Max series or The Day After Tomorrow and the multitude of over films.

TWD may be escapist viewing but not of the relaxing kind. You may feel just as wound up as you would say after watching a Denis Leary monologue.

If you have seen the show, or are a fan, I am interested in hearing some feedback.

What did you think of the finale? What do you think about the changes they have made from the graphic novels to the screen? The new characters? The characters that died prematurely, or lived longer than expected? Are you as excited about season four of The Walking Dead as I am? Starts in October.

The Walking Dead Season 3


Service With No Smile

A friend of mine started seeing a therapist. I do not know all the ins and outs of therapy, or why she is going. She did tell me however that the therapist twice told her, "You seem like an anxious person."
Is that not the same as walking into a barber shop and being told, "You seem to have hair."

Why the fuck do you think I am here?

What about when I am standing in line at the coffee shop and the barista asks, "Can I help you?"

Fuck yes!

Now get on with the real question Mr. Obvious, "How may I help you?"

I expect great service at any restaurant. I will be satisfied, however, with adequate service. Do not make me wait for my menu. Ask if I am ready to order. Make sure my food arrives within fifteen to twenty minutes of taking my order. Ask if I need anything else. And do not make me go on a treasure hunt to track you down when I want to pay and leave.

Bad service will get you a ten percent tip. Rude service will get you nothing. You are not entitled to a tip, it has to be earned for providing at least the basic pleasant service.

Warm Beer Cold Food Bad Service

A number of years back, I went with some college friends into a local Canadian style eatery called Miss Chomedey. It was the typical Italian/ Deli/ Grill combination full service family restaurants with a liquor licence. It was a small step up from your usual diner.

Sitting in one of their booths, likely eating the cheapest thing on the menu, perhaps grilled cheese or the bambino pizza, we proceeded to drop some quarters into the old fashioned mini jukeboxes that sat atop the booth table.

25 cents for a song. Let's liven up this sleepy lunchtime crowd, we said.

Three quarters went into the jukebox and nothing happened. We pressed every combination of buttons. I may have even punched the machine too.
Ghost in the machine? No, it's a country jukebox

We called the waitress over and explained what had occurred. "We lost three quarters", we said.
To which she replied, "Oh the machines don't work."
"What do you mean they don't work. There are no signs up."
"No", she replied, "they haven't worked in a long time." And dismissed us as if her answer justified everything.

"Can we have have our change back?" We persisted.
"We lost three quarters."
"No, she said, "you shouldn't have put them in the machine, they are lost."

Disbelief led to anger. But I still managed to sputter out, "And when you are looking for your tip, you know where to find it. It's in the machine."