As Natalie Portman’s character says in Garden State: “I look forward to a good cry. It feels pretty good.” Well, if you’re in one of those moods, I have the meal for you. Voila! Tear-jerker chili!
|Peppers and tomatoes|
- A variety of chili ingredients – most importantly, onions and spicy peppers
- A sappy movie or two – may I recommend, Rudy, My Girl, Scruffy, Titanic, or Up.
Step 1: Pop in your sad movie to watch in the background as you cook. (Or if it’s Sunday turn on the TV to watch the Bills.)
Step 2: Brown your meat. I used a 2/3 lb of hamburger meat from Whole Foods coupled with 2/3 lb of hamburger meat purchased at the Brookline Farmers Market from River Rock Farm.
Step 3: Slice the rest of your veggies. For me that included tomatoes that came from Byron’s mother’s garden and mixing those with 2 cans of beans: one kidney, one black.
Step 4: Slice your onions. I used 3 onions from my Enterprise farm share. As you slice the onions feel free to let those tears flow, just remember to have a hankie on hand to wipe away any mascara smudges.
Step 5: Slice up your peppers. I used:
- 1 LARGE jalapeno grown in Byron’s mother’s garden
- 1 small jalapeno grown in Byron’s mother’s garden
- 1 red chili pepper purchased for 40 cent at the Brookline Farmer’s Market
- 1 bell pepper from my Enterprise farm share
- 1 sweet red pepper that I bought at the Brookline Farmer’s Market
- 1 habenero pepper purchased at the Brookline Farmer’s Market
- (Note: Farmers markets are CHEAP for peppers! Stock up when you go. A single pepper will cost anywhere from 25 cents to a dollar – a total steal compared to the supermarket.)
|Sliced up spicy peppers... mmmm|
Step 6: Cry when juices from the hot peppers get into the little cut you have on your finger. If you don’t have a cut on your finger, fake it, then you don’t have to feel like a schmuck when you start to cry when Rudy finally gets called onto the field and everyone chants RUDY RUDY RUDY!
Step 7: Throw everything into the slow cooker. You can use a can of tomato paste, I used a Campbell’s tomato Soup at Hand because I didn’t have any tomato paste in my pantry. It seemed to have done the trick. Add some spices. I used a tablespoon of garlic powder and a few large shakes of chili powder. Plus some salt and pepper. Cook on high for as long as it takes for the veggies to get tender (a couple of hours.)
Step 8: While the chili cooking, watch another sappy movie. Or, if you are a writer like me, write the first draft of a chapter where you kill of a loveable/sympathetic grandmother, or stab an unsuspecting, friendly grandmother in the back.
Step 9: Spoon chili from the slow cooker. Sprinkle cheese on top. Eat your first bite. Yell out in pain when you realize how spicy the chili is, and then start to cry again.
Step 10: Crack open a beer (or five) so you can blame your crying on Beer Tears. As if that’s a better excuse…
If you follow these easy steps, you, too, can have a day full of tears. Cheers!