Come this time of year, when the temperature drops below sixty degrees for even a minute, the debate begins.
Frank: It’s chili weather!
Me: No, no it’s not.
Frank: How can you tell?
Me: It’s not quite cold enough and (sniffing all around me) the full fall smell isn’t there yet.
Frank: Then, when? When will it be chili weather?
Me: Soon. I’ll let you know.
I walked outside this morning, felt the nip in the air, breathed in the subtle scent of changing leaves, and declared, “Now, this is chili weather” …which is very anticlimactic since last week I gave into Frank’s whining and let him make a pot.
It went something like this:
Frank: Greg’s coming tomorrow. Can I make chili, pleeeeeaaaassse?
Me: It’s not time. No good can come of it.
Me: All right, you can make chili tomorrow.
Frank: Can you go to the store for me today?
Me: It just doesn’t feel right, yet. But, I guess.
I carefully follow his list and get all the ingredients. The minute he gets home from work, he runs to the fridge and pantry to make sure I procured everything. Panic fills his face.
Frank: You only got one pound of beef? On no, I need, at least, two pounds of beef.
Me: Don't cry, just get up tomorrow and go to the store and get some.
Frank: But I wanted to start prepping tonight. I was going to brown it off.
Me: Prepping tonight for chili tomorrow night? You are insane.
I watched while he cut up the mushrooms, banana peppers, red onions, and jalapenos and carefully place them in individual Tupperware. He then lined up all the cans of ingredients he was going to use. Next, he browned the one pound of meat, tossing me mean looks the whole time. He was too excited to wait..
Frank: Can I start it tonight, pleeeaaassse?
Me: What about the missing meat?
Frank: I'll just add it in the morning.
Me: Sure, weirdo. go ahead.
His eyes lit up and he squealed. I think he had a full blown chiligasm.
Being a Granny on the inside, Franks always cooks as if we are feeding a mob of farm hands. So, he climbed into the hull to get the industrial-sized crockpot that I bought him on eBay. He also prefers to slow cook things for an average of 16 hours. He started the chili around 9pm. At midnight and again at 3am, I hear him up banging around the boat. Like a fretful parent who must periodically check to make certain their child is still breathing, he must check the chili to make sure it is still simmering.
At 5am, he is leaning over the bed with a ladle.
Me: What in the hell are you doing?
Frank: Taste it.
Me: No, I’ll have to brush my teeth again.
Frank: Taste it, pleeeaaassse.
Me: Alright. Give me the spoon.
Frank: Isn’t that the best chili you’ve ever had?
Me: I don’t know. My taste buds aren't awake yet.
Frank: Come on. It’s good, right? I think it’s my best pot yet.
Me: Yes, it’s your best pot yet. Now, go to sleep!
Even after giving a bowl to everyone on the dock and bringing some to Kyle (my new Lexington roomie), I still wound up eating chili nearly every day last week and there is still more left.
Now, we begin the battle over potato soup.
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