Have you read the Mitford series books by Jan Karon? Father Tim and Cynthia feel like old friends and so do all the other characters that populate the small town of Mitford.
On my last library trip, I spotted the Mitford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader. It’s full of recipes mentioned in the books (Orange Marmalade Cake, anyone?) and also lots of excerpts. Food and stories is a hard combination to beat.
One recipe that caught my attention was Velma’s Chili. I did make a few changes to it. For one, I used half the meat it called for. Two pounds of meat for 6-8 servings sounded like too much. I doubled it and made a few other alterations as well. Here’s what you’ll need to make my version:
- 2 lbs. ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 4 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 cans diced tomatoes
- 2 15oz cans tomato sauce
- 2 cups water
- 2 bay leaf
- 4 Tbs. chili powder
- 2 Tbs. sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup red wine
Brown the meat, onion, garlic and celery together and cook till the meat is done. Drain the grease and rinse under hot water. Put it back in the pot.
Add all the other ingredients, except the wine. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Add the wine and bring to a simmer. Cook for an hour or several hours.
A batch this large is too much for a slow cooker. I did freeze half and will heat the rest in the slow cooker for another time. If you make a half batch, it would fit in the slow cooker nicely.