The main reason I cooked our spatchcocked turkey well in advance of Thanksgiving was because I needed to make Turkey Soup for our family gathering after Saturday's baby shower and that's how the timing worked!
It turned out that Maddy was such a huge help with party prep on Saturday morning that I actually had time to run home and get a pot of Chili All Day started before the shower began. I'm so glad I did, too, because even though "turkey soup" is different than roast turkey or turkey sandwiches... it was still only two days after Thanksgiving and some people were turkey-ed out! Guests were gracious and tried both soups, but were very grateful for the non-turkey offering.
The get-together was the perfect cap to a rather drawn out and different Thanksgiving... more like a season than a day, with cake and baby gifts. Maddy, my sister Karen, brother Mike and his wife, Ali and Rodney, Rod's two brothers and their families, and his parents all came over... it was pretty great.
Christmas is going to be drawn out and different this year, too, but I'm sure it will also turn out pretty great!
So, I started writing this post on December 2nd and nearly had a heart attack when I went to link Abbey's Chili All Day recipe, as I have countless times over the years, and found that her long-neglected blog has now been entirely removed! I suppose it was bound to happen sooner or later; that original post is from October 2004! Thank goodness for the Wayback Machine! I don't want to depend on that, though, so I'm sharing it here for all time (which is, obviously, a relative term in blogging).
Chili All Day
1 ½ - 2 lb. beef stew meat, cut into ½ inch pieces
1 large onion, diced large
6 cloves of garlic, minced (optional)
2 Tbsp. dark chili powder
3 Tbsp. ground cumin (more or less)
2 tsp. salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
¼ tsp.(or more) ground cayenne pepper (if you like it hot)
½ bottle of beer
1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1 14 oz. can of Bush's chili beans w/sauce
2 14 oz. cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 8 oz. pkg. of sliced mushrooms
In a large pot, over high heat, sauté beef in olive oil until browned. (Or roast it, as I sometimes like to do.)
Add onions and continue to sauté until golden.
Reduce heat to medium and add all spices, stirring well and sauté until garlic is tender, but not browned.
Add beer and stir well. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes, beans, and sliced mushrooms.
Stir well and let simmer with cover on for 30 minutes or longer (longer is better....the meat will be more tender).
* If the chili is too thick for your taste, add the remaining ½ bottle of beer (if you didn't already drink it).
* If the chili is too thin, add a small can of tomato paste.
And here is the summarized story of Chili All Day, in a nutshell (because my kids people always ask):
Abbey's kids were getting ready for school one cold morning in 2004, and as they were waking up she told them, "Dress warm because it's going to be chilly all day."
After dropping the kids off at school, Abbey decided that it would be the perfect day to cook a pot roast for dinner.
When she went to pick the kids up from school that afternoon, the first thing her daughter said was, "I can't wait to have chili for dinner!"
Abbey said, "I didn't make chili for dinner."
Her daughter replied, in that pre-teen argumentative tone, "Yes you did! You told me this morning that you were going to make chili all day!"
Ha! If she had made chili that day, she'd have used the recipe shared above. :)
Bon appetit. And happy weekend! I feel unsettled with a weird work schedule and not really prepared for next week. There's sort of a plan, but it's very loose and then there's the weather throwing a slippery layer of ice and snow on top. It'll work out, I'm sure, and perhaps some clarity will come over the next couple of days. Let's be merry!