Friday, September 23, 2005

So you want to be a textual editor?

Think again.

Unless, that is, you fancy poring over to a text, just to make sure that the person who keyed in the version you're using as your electronic text, didn't skip a period, and I don't mean the life-generating kind.

Or unless you relish the prospect of trying to find the birth and death dates of obscure folks who make brief and unmemorable appearances in a pretty important text.

Or if you're really jazzed by the prospect of explaining why you chose the text you did as your copytext, and then explaining why it is OK to correct a printer's error.

Or maybe you're the gal who gets off on checking and quadruple-checking page numbers in the annotations you put together?

The precision is enough to make your head spin.

So forget that: after a morning's work, what could be better than


This makes a big batch, working on the theory that that is one fewer dinner to worry about this week. You could easily halve it.

And chili is the gods' gift to those who don't want to fuss with exactness. Feel free to improvise to your heart's content.

Start by sauteing for about 10 minutes in a mess of olive oil: 2 chopped onions, 4 chopped cloves of garlic, 2 chopped bell peppers (or the equivalent sweet peppers when they're in season, which they are here, which means I found some mighty fine red and purple ones at the campus farm sale), and however many chopped jalapenos you care to handle.

Then add 2 chopped tomatoes (if you don't have any left in your garden, you can substitute those little salad tomatoes, the only thing in the produce section of the grocery that tastes even remotely like tomato), 2 15-oz cans of diced tomatoes (I like the no-salt no-added-carp variety: add your own crap), and 1 cup water.

And the spice concoction of your choice: I like 2-3 T chili powder, 3 t ground cumin, 4 t oregano, 4 t basil, 1 t fennel seeds, 2 t salt, 1 T black pepper.

Add the heating element of your choice in the quantity that suits you. Heartily recommend sriracha sauce.

After you stir all this stuff together, bring it to a simmer and cook uncovered about 20 minutes.

Then add 4 cans of beans. Why not use a variety for added color? Maybe pinto, black, cannellini, red beans. Or whatever you like really.

Then my recipe calls for 1.5 pounds zucchini, but the students are farming baby eggplants these days, and they're so fresh and nice.

And don't forget the 2 tablespoons of dill, for the added fresh taste. It gives veggie chili a little kick that makes it taste less like chili with no meat.

After this cooks a while longer this afternoon, I'll tuck it in the fridge and then reheat it tomorrow for added flavor, all in time for an afternoon of TV-viewing.

If you're a dairy fiend (who me?) you can add sour cream to your bowl: As Horvus Callithumper would say, Not bad.


Rebecca said...

You and Ami should have a chili party some time. (And you should both make mild versions so I can eat, too!)

Good luck finding tiny annoying mistakes.

Horvus Callithumper said...

Not bad indeed.