We had been talking for some time about the nostalgia of a crock-pot meal- the anticipation building as the smell tiptoes through the house, until you simply can't help but stir the slowly simmering pot. The warmth that emanates from a slow-cooker, calm and reassuring without the jarring beeps of the oven or the droning hum of the microwave. There's just something winter-like and snuggly about a bowl of slow cooked food. And what's chili without cornbread? I followed the back of the Quaker container of cornmeal, although there's something about my mother's bread that is moist and cake-like. In our home we always ate it for breakfast, melted butter and oozing honey. Mine was a bit drier, but still golden and delicious. Mom's Chili
for a 4-5qt crock-pot 1 lb meat: hamburger or hamburger/sausage mix 1 large can of tomatoes (stewed, diced, chopped, however you like 'em) add as many beans as you feel comfortable black pinto red kidney (all staples in our home) 1 onion, diced (omitted for Mr. E's tender stomach) 1 bell pepper, chopped small 2 Tbsp chili powder 1/2 tsp cumin LOTS of salt- for the beans Cook on low for 6-8 hours- you'll smell it when it's done If the chili looks too dry (you like it soup-y), add more tomatoes. Ours came out drier than I would have wanted- but I didn't know the difference until I started spooning- with hardly any liquid! More like sloppy joe's, but we added cheese and chips and avocado.
I must have done something right because Mr. E told me (at least!) 5 times how much he loved me during dinner. Time well spent!