Can last weekend be every weekend?
It would involve: kissing monkeys, fuzzy navels, bakery breakfasts, wooden play sets, lego duplos, picture-taking, gift-giving, hug-receiving. Margaritas, cloudless skies, byowine, video-watching*, story-sharing, trip-planning. Thus was the weekend of a very welcome (and very overdue) visit from four of the loveliest people I know: my two parents, my favorite older sis, and my adorable nephew, Ben. It was a full house for roughly 48 hours (+1, thank you daylight savings!), and it was wonderful.
We went to the zoo, we built our own tacos, we feasted on Italian cuisine. We discussed Thanksgiving 2013 (Tulsa here I come! ps I'm making pie), we discussed Christmas 2013 (Colorado, here we come! ps I'm making cookies).
But before we did any of this, we ate chili. My mom's chili. But I made it. She had given the recipe to me years ago, which I had chicken-scratched on a piece of notebook paper, and I finally took it out from my arsenal of soup recipes to make for the ones I love. It was a hit (by everyone except Ben, who decided to feast on macaroni and apples- no hard feelings though. That boy could ram his new bike into my car and then trek it through my newly planted pansies and I would still love him to bits and pieces) and paired nicely with my go-to cornbread- the perfect way to celebrate both the arrival of the beautiful fall weather, and the arrival of my beautiful family.
Mom's Classic Chili
Serves 4-5 (serves a family)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground chuck beef
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1 (28-ounce) can italian whole tomatoes
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
2 cups water
2 teaspoons salt, or as needed
1 teaspoon ground black pepper, or as needed
Heat oil in heavy large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic. Sauté until onions are translucent, about 8 minutes. Add chuck and sauté until brown, breaking up meat with back of spoon, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder, cloves, basil, oregano, and cumin. Stir 2 minutes. Mix in tomatoes, crushing with back of spoon, tomato paste, and water. Simmer until thickened to desired consistency, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Adapted from my mom :)