As many of you know, Stephanie entered the Hallmark Barbara Marshall 2010 Competition for Creativity and she won! Her premise was the importance of food in the celebration of life, family and love. This last week end of September, her premise was again proven valid as the 87th birthdays of Dad and Aunt Gladys were celebrated in fine style with good food, great weather, and a beautiful venue.
Linda opened her home and kitchen to many of the Boonville relatives for a Fall dinner of sausages, chili and cakes. She moved into her bungalow home in Boonville after retiring a few years ago. Her green thumb has always been busy and her new home’s yard and patio is just lovely and very amenable to entertaining.
Since our extended families are known for hearty and flavorful food, several different dishes were contributed by the guests. However, Linda did some heavy lifting with the Dump Chili. The menu was varied and substantial:
- Linda’s Dump Chili;
- Johnsonville Brats;
- Johnsonville Italian sausage;
- Frick’s Red Skin Franks;
- Oscar Meyer Hot dogs;
- Aunt Gladys apple salad;
- Aunt Gladys cold bean and vegetable salad;
- Irma’s Fiesta Dip;
- Veggie’s, pickles and olives;
- Kraut for the sausages along with other tasty condiments.
Although the name for the chili may create visions quite unappetizing, the result was exceptional. The level of heat in the flavor is up to you. Linda calmed hers down because of several older stomachs in the crowd but plenty of heat was available to be added from hot sauce and chili powder. The ingredients for the chili depend on the contents of your refrigerator and pantry, thus the descriptor of “Dump”. For this version, Linda used:
- 2 lbs of ground beef;
- Green pepper, finely chopped;
- Red pepper, finely chopped;
- Large onion, finely chopped;
- 2 cups of Roman tomatoes, finely chopped
- 2 cans of Fired Roasted Tomatoes;
- 1 large can of crushed tomatoes;
- 1 large can of chili beans;
- 1 can of black beans;
- 2 packages of Five alarm chili seasoning;
- a health dash of Chipotle chili pepper;
- Saute the peppers and onion in olive oil until soft;
- Brown the ground beef in the same skillet than drain the grease;
- Combine all the ingredients in a Crock-Pot and cook on low for 24 hours.
Linda had actually prepared the Dump Chili 3 days prior and refrigerated until the day of the party than she reheated in the Crock-Pot. I often believe that the cooling down and subsequent sitting for a few days makes the sauce, soup or chili even better. This rendering was no exception. The chili was eaten in bowls, on sausages and right out of the pot. Excellent!!!!!!!!!!!
Over the years I have observed that this clan has been blessed and cursed by an overactive sweet tooth. The fore named tooth of those in attendance left more than satiated. Hershey’s, ice cream and cake was the delivery devices for sweetness.
- Mom and Dad’s condo neighbor has become legendary for her Angel Food Cake with white icing. Tonight’s offering was no disappointment.
- Dad’s request to Mom was for her German Chocolate Cake. Becky actually got an advance sample Friday night and pronounced the cake excellent.
- Finally, Aunt Beck (reputedly the Paula Dean of Boonville) brought a Grandgirl’s Fresh Apple Cake from Georgia that I particularly enjoyed. I was able to pry the recipe from Beck and you will definitely want to try.
Grandgirl’s Fresh Apple Cake:
- 2 cups of sugar;
- 3 eggs;
- 1.5 cups of vegetable oil;
- .25 cup of orange juice;
- 3 cups of all purpose flour;
- 1 teaspoon baking soda;
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon;
- 1 teaspoon vanilla;
- .25 teaspoon salt;
- 3 cups of peeled finely chopped Gala apples;
- 1 cup coconut;
- 1 cup chopped pecans.
- Grease a 9X13 pan and bake 325 degrees for 1.5 hours, but check after 1 hour.
- A maple icing adds the finishing touch.
As we celebrated Gladys and Dad’s 87 years, I remember how similar this occasion was with all those other times when our family has gathered to share and partake of good hearty food, abundant sweets, a wonderful outdoor setting and the constant laugher and quiet discussions of a family who has loved, quarreled and shared.
Steph was dead right about the importance of food in the life of families and our society.