Eastside Road, January 26, 2012—MY FATHER KNEW HOW to make it; so did Mom. My mother-in-law could turn out a pretty good version. Lindsey knows how, too. But I bet I'd have to go to a cook book. Pathetic: chili, one of the great American dishes and certainly one of the Hundred Plates, should be something that writes itself.
I guess you start with chopped onions, frying them up in some kind of fat, then adding ground beef and flavor. The beans you've cooked ahead of time. Tomato is clearly involved somehow — canned? paste? sauce? Oh: and chili powder, no doubt about that.
Tonight's edition involved chili powder from Rancho de Chimayo, accessioned who knows how many years ago but never, it seems, losing either its heat or its unique smoky peppery flavor. Then too, Lindsey likes to set bowls of chopped raw onion, chopped cilantro, diced avocado, and grated cheese on the table; and I like a tortilla or two. Green salad. Oh: tonight, a dessert: a strange but tasty corn-flour cake which tasted, as Eric said, very old-fashioned, and Southern. If there's any left tomorrow night I'll tell you how she made it.
Zinfandel, Peterson (Dry Creek Valley), 2008