MOM’S CHILI

Chili in our family is a Halloween tradition. What turkey is to Thanksgiving, chili is to Halloween. I can’t imagine a Halloween without it. Even when we aren’t with my parents on the holiday, I try to carry the tradition and make her famous chili. It’s not overly spicy, or interestingly unique, but it is a classic dependable recipe. If you like to experiment, this is a good base to make your own creation. However, I don’t like to stray too far from this tried and true recipe.

MOM’S CHILI

MOM’S CHILI

Ingredients

  • 1.5lbs ground chuck
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper chopped
  • 1 6oz can tomato paste
  • 2-3 cans of kidney beans
  • 2 TBSP chili powder
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (I prefer petite diced)
  • 1.5 tsp Italian seasoning
  • water to desired consistency (approx. 3 cups)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • *I add red, orange, and yellow peppers. I use about 3 whole peppers in total.

Instructions

  1. Brown the meat and then drain excess grease.
  2. Saute onions and peppers until soft (3-5 minutes)
  3. Add remaining ingredients on high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce to low. Let simmer for 1 hour or so. Top with cheese or other favorite chili toppings.
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THE LEGEND OF MELVIN: A HAUNTED HALLOWEEN 45TH ANNIVERSARY

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It was just a typical Halloween at our house. The sound of the October breeze was gently blowing through the trees in the backyard while my mom stood tending to two pots on the stove. One of our traditional family Halloween chili dinner, the other of boiling blood. While the smells of chili and blood wafted past the half-eaten box donut holes and a jar of brains, Ellie and Chloe started to assemble their Halloween costumes and prep their trick-or-treating buckets. My brother, Dad, and I were doing our final checks. Mics, speakers, cameras, blood, smoke, it was all ready. The Shining Theme song could be heard outside. Like a wolf howl’s to the moon, this was a call to the neighborhood that Halloween was about to begin. At the first sight of trick-or-treaters on the streets, my dad put the headphones on, stepped up to the mic and flipped a switch marked “Melvin.” The wizard was in place behind the curtain and ready to give it life. The blue glow of the light indicated the mic was live, Halloween had started. “Hey kid, come on up and talk to Melvin.”

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LET IT GO!

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Ah, Halloween, that time of year when I try to reconstruct my own magical childhood memories and force them on my kids. I’m aware there is a big difference between carrying on traditions and trying to recreate and relive a memory. And I think I’ve been blurring the line between these two ideas. I know, this sounds oddly familiar, doesn’t it? Yes, that’s right; I did this last year, and the year before, and the year before that. Oh, and at Christmas, and birthday parties, and just about any other special event. You think I would learn.

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COSTUMES, NO CANDY

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This time of year, especially Halloween makes me ache for my childhood. I can remember so vividly how excited I was going to school on Halloween for the costume parade and the classroom Halloween party. But I also couldn’t get home quick enough to prepare for the evening. Halloween was a big deal at our house and all I wanted to do was get home from school and help my dad to be a part of it. So it’s no surprise that my expectations for providing a fun-filled Halloween were high as Ellie was getting older. And with these high expectations, I sometimes forget that Ellie is only three and Chloe’s only one.

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