Evangelistic Chili

Not unlike the proverbial story of stone soup, a pot of chili takes a long list of mundane ingredients, and voila, a masterpiece of culinary delight. Proper chili takes about 3 days to prepare, culminating with friends with beers and leftovers in the fridge.
To begin, you must rinse about 4 cups of beans. Any kind of beans are fine, as long as they are kidney shaped. I like to have an assortment, black eyed, mung, brown beans, whatever the grocer happens to have will do. Add about 50% more water than beans. Put a lid on it, then leave it overnight. The water will magically disappear, but the beans will look pregnant and guilty. My favorite is a cast iron camp cook pot over an open fire. My last pot of chili was cooked in a cheap 2nd hand stainless steel pot, with a tight fitting lid, on a barbecue. Oil the pot to help keep stuff from sticking, add the ingredients then bring to a simmering boil.
4 cups assorted beans
500 ml water
2 diced onions
4 diced garlic
1 diced red or yellow pepper
A handful of chopped hot peppers
some diced celery
500 ml can of crushed tomatoes
A liberal amount of Franks, tabasco, or whatever hot sauce you have on hand. I use a small amount of Montreal steak spice, but there’s already enough natural spices in the peppers and garlic that you don’t need to add a lot of powdered stuff. Fry up some hamburger meat. Break it up into small pieces with the spatula as its cooking. Toss in whatever leftover meat you have, as long as you can dice it.
Here’s the tricky part, you have to let it simmer for about 6 hours. Stir it frequently to make sure it’s not sticking to the bottom, and to ensure there’s enough liquid so it doesn’t burn. Sample it constantly to see if the beans are soft enough. When they are, it’s done cooking. Let it sit for an hour with the lid on and no heat before serving. Good luck waiting an hour because by then everyone’s starving.
Cooking shouldn’t be a utilitarian exercise, but a social event. It’s a travesty that a person should ever have to eat alone. I like to involve people in the process so they feel part of it. When you eat with someone, you’re saying you like them. When Jesus wanted to show His love and acceptance to Zacheas, He ate with him. When you invite a person into your home, and eat with them, it’s a powerful evangelistic tool. Their defenses are down, they feel accepted and open to whatever you want to tell them. I’ve yet to have anyone refuse to hear the gospel after I’ve fed them.
Anyhow, the reason I’m writing this blog is because it’s 3:08 AM and my stomach doesn’t feel too good after 3 large plates of chili.

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