Inspired Chili

Like so many families, my parents divorced before I was old enough to remember them as a couple. The same holds true for my grandparents. My Gram remarried before I was old enough to know that “Grandpa” wasn’t my mother’s father. Of course, as I got older I was told this but he was and always will be, Grandpa.

My grandparents did a lot for us grandkids growing up. They took us to all the children’s theme parks in New Hampshire, like Storyland, Santa’s Village and Clark’s Trading Post.  They brought us for twist ice cream cones with rainbow jimmies at Dairy Queen in the summertime.

For Easter one year, they bought me my first bicycle. A purple Cabbage Patch Kids bike with training wheels. Grandpa taught me how to ride it.

In the picture you can see his truck in the driveway with a plate that says “I’d rather be dancing.” They used to love to go dancing. They liked going to the casino and playing the slot machines. Grandpa used to take Gram for Sunday drives to Maine to see the light houses.

My Gram made most of the meals but Grandpa had his chili. He made great chili. I once asked him for his recipe. I make mine with his in mind.

He was also the designated homefries maker for breakfast on the weekends. Now, everytime I make homefries, I’m striving to make them as tasty as he always did.

He was a heavy smoker for nearly fifty years and now has COPD. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease for him, is the occurance of chronic bronchitis in which the airways of the lungs become narrowed. He is on oxygen therapy full time. He has had some tough days and my Gram is always there taking care of him. There is no cure and he is tired a lot of the time. That is one of the symptoms along with shortness of breath, chest tightness, wheezing, excess mucous production and a persistant cough. He isn’t able to do a lot of the things that you and I probably take for granted. He still has that smile that lights up his eyes though. I love you Grandpa and I’ll always be your “turkey”.

In honor of your great chili Grandpa, I’m sharing my recipe, which was inspired by yours.

This chili can be made in the crockpot or stove top. I’ve been using my crockpot a lot lately. It’s such a great invention :)

Start by browning a half pound of ground turkey. Add 2-3 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp black pepper and a shake or two of red pepper flakes.

Place the browned, seasoned ground turkey in your pot. Now just pile in a small onion, half a green pepper, large can of diced tomatoes, 1/4 cup of good quality homemade style salsa, a can of black beans and a can of red kidney beans.

If you’re using a crockpot, place it on high for 4 hours and stir every hour or so. If you’re using a pot on the stove, simmer for 2 hours on medium heat, stirring every so often. If you like your chili spicy, add a few drops of tabasco sauce.

You could serve it straight up or with shredded cheese and tortilla chips. Thomas likes his with saltine crackers. However you choose to eat it, I’m sure it will become a staple, especially in the winter months. Enjoy :)

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4 thoughts on “Inspired Chili”

  1. Jodi, I don’t know what to say, I cried all through it, it is such a loving tribute to Grandpa and me.. You have such a wonderful way with words and your memory is so vivid, thank ;you so much for this . He doesn’t make chili anymore, like he doesn’t do a lot of things anymore because of his health as you know. We thank you for being such a wonderful, caring and thoughtful grandaughter and we love and miss you very much. You are my rock in this life>>>>

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