I had intimated in my previous blog entry of not one, but two culinary fiascos to have befallen me in the past week or so. The second of which was a far more involved affair.
Like many men, I am an aficionado of chili. More importantly, I am an aficionado of my own chili and my ability to cook up award winning batches of it.
This story begins much as the last one: I set about finding the finest ingredients. As all good chili-meisters know, you do not use ground beef, but instead utilize fine steak, which you cut into small cubes and then braise. I then floured the meat and set about preparing the vegetables, including the spices that make chili what it is to so many. Fresh jalapeños, peppers, onions and chili flakes imported from Turkey itself.
Of course, I use a few of my own flourishes in the ingredients process which are proprietary and thus I will not include all of them here but to suffice it to say I have concocted flame-thrower chili’s which have humbled mere mortals.
After what was clearly several hours of work I prepared to fortify myself with a poured can of Guinness stout beer (also an ingredient in the cooking process) and a meaningful bowl of chili. The smell and color of the end product indicated to me that here clearly was another vintage with which I would be able to regale my friends in northern Idaho.
It was indeed hot…but…it was also…sweet. Extremely sweet. Uncommonly and unaccountably sweet. What on earth had happened? Perhaps some sort of chemical reaction to the blending of my own 25 herbs and spices?
As everything was still on the countertop I went through each of the ingredients. The countertop was a mess and the mystery impossible for me to detect, until finally I saw it: the flour I had so generously used with my beef wasn’t flour—it was refined sugar.
It was yet another reminder that I was in someone else’s home and they had decided to keep sugar in the container that I used at home for flour. Alas many hours of work lost in unsuccessfully combining dinner and dessert…
Sincere and heartfelt congratulations to Ruthie Johnson, whose appointment to the Idaho Commission on Human Rights was ratified Thursday in the Idaho Senate. It was a great honor and pleasure for me to carry her nomination.