It’s all downhill from here.

Tonight is the Harvest Moon.

That’s not it up there. That’s a view of the north end of Duke City from just below the Tramway. And it looks much better in that photo than 11 p.m. does on the Timex, especially if you went to sleep, or thought you did, at 10.

Mom’s chili (Mom not included).

I blame the moon. But what actually woke me last night after an hour of sleep was probably Spike the Terrorist Deer noshing on our pear tree, or Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (commander, 1st Feline Home Defense Regiment), trash-talking at him.

“Yaaaaaaaah! Gedoudaheeeeeah! ’Member what happened to your momma, Bambi?”

Naturally, I hollered for my momma, but she’s been dead almost as long as Bambi’s, and having seen way too many horror movies I really didn’t want her coming back on my account. She might have her own agenda.

So as a sort of substitute and/or magic potion I’m making her famous chili from a stained, tattered recipe card the old gal typed up herself. It was one of the rare occasions when I asked her for something other than money to buy drugs.

And if that’s not weird enough for you, how ’bout this?

When I woke up at 11, I felt rested.

But I went back to sleep anyway.


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11 Responses to “Mooned”

  1. JD Dallager Says:

    PO’G: Please don’t keep me/us in suspense. The recipe please? 🙂

    Looks muy excellente…..Hatch or Pueblo chiles, etc.???

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      Yea, what JD said! Give it up. If your Mom typed, so can you, right here in the comments section. How’s that for demanding readers?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      By request, then: This is a simple one-pot deal (or you can use a large skillet). I think Mom picked this one up when we were stationed at Randolph AFB during 1962-67, based on her use of Ro*Tel tomatoes and chile, but it’s not a true Texas chili. If you’re feeling industrious as well as hungry, give this one or that one a try.

      1-1.5 lbs ground round
      1 cup chopped onion
      1 clove garlic
      1 can pinto beans
      1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
      1 can (10 oz.) Ro*Tel diced tomatoes and green chile
      2 cups water
      2 tbsp ground red chile
      1/2 tsp ground cumin
      1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
      Salt and pepper to taste
      1 tbsp oil

      In a large kettle or Dutch oven heat oil. Add beef, onion and garlic and cook until meat is brown and onion and garlic are tender. Stir in remaining ingredients, except beans, and simmer uncovered for two hours, stirring occasionally. Add water during cooking as necessary. Add beans and simmer another 30 minutes.

      Variation from original
      I’ve substituted ground buffalo for the burger and like that quite a bit. I also usually double up on the garlic, and have used a combination of black and white beans for color.

      Instead of the Ro*Tel I favor Muir Glen fire-roasted organic crushed tomatoes and 1/4-1/3 cup of roasted and chopped Hatch chile, some combination of Big Jim and Anaheim or whatever’s handy. The ground red chile is Hatch, too, or Chimayo if I have it, and usually a 50-50 combo of hot and mild.

      It’s hard to go wrong adding a half teaspoon of Mexican oregano and a bit of chopped fresh cilantro, too.

      I usually serve this up over a bed of long-grain white rice with blue corn chips to add a bit of crunch and some grated sharp Cheddar on top.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Damn, that sounds good. I like the thought of roasted and chopped fresh chilis, but I would substitute ground turkey for the beef or buff. Serving of rice and blue chips is a great idea! Thanks Patrick, now it’s my turn to do a little typing.

        Just got done riding with my tandem friends. I spent the last 4 miles in the sweet spot on their wheel. We had a head wind and I just tucked in, watched their cassette and rear brake, and enjoyed the ride.

        Hope the Herself sisters have a trouble free return from the land of our fathers.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        We’ve been throttling back on the hooved critters here, Pat, but I wanted beef for this one.

        Turkey or chicken thighs are perfect for most dishes that call for beef or even pork. I find the turkey tends to be a little sweeter, and that I have to use a little more oil when cooking with poultry instead of some four-legged critter.

        The Boss is slated to get back at stupid-thirty tomorrow night, if all goes as scheduled. I dislike being on the road at prime drunk time, my night vision and reflexes having succumbed to the ravages of time, but whaddare y’gonna do? A fella can take one for the team or take one between the running lights after 30 seconds after his loved one Ubers home.

  2. khal spencer Says:

    Hope all is well. Meanwhile, mooned ya…

  3. Carl Duellman Says:

    yum. i might try that recipe when the weather cools off a bit. we did a sunset/moon rise ride on sunday out at the beach. didn’t see much of the sun but the clouds were big and bold and colorful. we even got a fly-by from the blue angles as they are based here in pensacola. the moon was pretty nice also.

  4. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    When the weather turns cold there’s something nice about a warm bowl of something tasty. The wife’s got a pot going with a cabbage, potato and pancetta zuppa recipe from our time at the American Academy in Rome. Smells pretty good in the old shack right now!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Ooo, that does sound good. I haven’t done a cabbage-spud deal in a while. I know I have a recipe some’eres. It sounds at first as though it wouldn’t be that great, but it surely is.

      Mario Batali has a recipe for Tuscan cabbage and bean soup in “Molto Italiano,” but that’s not the one I’m thinking of.

  5. Dale Says:

    Re: Spike the Terrorist Deer
    Patrick, you have a few choices:

    (1) You could take Spike out with a fusillade from one of your weapons; but then you would have a lot of ‘splaining to do to your neighbors.
    (2) You could sleep all day and stay up all night and scare him away when he invades your garden. No harm to Spike and contented neighbors.
    (3) You could build a border wall (where have I heard that term?).
    (4) You could run up a white flag and deal with the consequences.

    I am out of material now, so I’ll leave it a four solutions.

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