When Life Gives you Beans (Or Don’t Cry Over Spilled Chili)

I really hadn’t planned on blogging today.  But sometimes life doesn’t go as scheduled.

Last evening, my husband, Russell was excited.  Excited, because he was cooking up a pot of my mom’s homemade chili with his super-secret spicy ingredients for the at&t Chili Cookoff in Bridgeton, Missouri.

Granted, an argument almost ensued (a time or two) during the cooking process.

“Does the chili need something else added to it,” he asked.

Raised in a German and Lithuanian household, I suggested “More spices, it needs more spices.”

A little more cumin, a pinch more red repper, a dash of cinnamon, and chili powder to boot!

“Okay, now taste it,” he said.

As I lifted the spoon to my lips and sampled the savory sustenance, I felt a ‘slow burn’ on the trip from tongue to my tummy.

“It needs more heat,” he commanded.

As I stirred the large stockpot full of meat, beans, and sauce, he chopped the ‘secret ingredient’ and added it to the mix.

“Too hot for me,” I commented.

“That’s what I was going for!”

With chili refrigerated, and the dishes clean, it was time for bed.

This morning, after loading up the Silverado with the crockpot, and a quick goodbye kiss for his better half, Russell was on his way.

Within a few minutes, my cell phone rang with the song, “Hey, hey, good-looking.”  I sensed something wrong – problems with the truck.  Even worse, the crockpot toppled over.

“Open, the *#@&% *  garage door!” he yelled.

I waited patiently (as sometimes wives do) inside.

Hearing footsteps on the concrete floor of the garage, I opened the door.

“I lost half the chili!  It’s all over the floorboard.  When I rounded the corner, it just went!  They’re lucky if they get ONE BEAN to taste.”

Sensing his frustration, quickly, I rinsed the lid and wiped the sides of the crock.  I took my personal stash from last night out of the frig, and added it to the chili and 6 ounces of water to thin it out.

As I glanced over at him, I noticed a familiar look on his face.  He was bummed out.

“It’s going to be okay.”

“Thanks. I’m going outside to clean the truck.”

Upon entering the house again, I could tell his mood had lifted.

“It’s in my speakers!” he laughed.

“Honey, you really need to tape that lid down,” I suggested.

With duct tape in hand, Russell was taking no chances.  He proceeded to tape the glass lid to the crock with distinct precision.  I slid a ladle under the tape to help him out.

I chuckled.

“What’s so funny?”

“I have a name for the chili.”

“What is it?”

“Mom’s Floorboard Chili.”

“I like it.”

“There’s a funny story behind that name.”

I grabbed the Nikon and took a pic of the crockpot with its new silver bling.

In a flash, he was out the door again, carrying the ‘secured’ chili.

I hope he wins the chili cookoff today.  Not because the chili is really, really tasty, but because he didn’t cry over spilled chili.  (Get it?)

Sometimes, when life gives you spilled chili, you just have to go on and figure out a new recipe for life.

A little teamwork helps.

DSC_1413 chili smaller file


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