Sunday Homemaking : A big pot of Homemade Chili and Apple Cider from Scratch.

This past Sunday was our first Sunday living in our new place. Although I spent 7 years of my adult life as a classically trained ‘culinary artist’’, these days I feel like a fraud telling people that I AM a chef still especially since my favorite job I ever had was when I was 15 in a gourmet pizza joint and not any of the fancy schmancy places I worked in after my training. In my opinion once you become a chef, it never leaves but still when I think about my life as a chef, its not something I want to ever go back to. I abhorred cooking professionally and I used to dread when my family would brag about my profession to others or worse, on dates when men would try to get to know me and ask what I did for a living and the word “chef” at whichever restaurant would escape my lips the next thing they would say without fail was

“wow! a chef! So when are you going to cook for me?”

It would take everything I had to not mouth those words as they said it because I knew it was coming and to also not roll my eyes and take a deep sigh afterwards because I knew I would never cook for them in this lifetime unless they casually strolled into the restaurant to place an order. Cooking professionally truly made me never want to cook at home. It drained me and took the light out of my eyes and the interest to study and strive for more in that field out of my heart.

And to this day, my now husband is the only man I have ever cooked for.

I woke at about 4:30 am to make scratch made Apple Cider. It was my first time making it. My husband is a very cozy style man who loves the fall season and Christmas music; Apple pies and Apple cider. Every Autumn when we were dating he would take me to a place called Apple Hill in the mountains of Northern California for the different apple treats the people there would make and sell like jams, and candies, juices and pies (but after having my apple pie he concluded that the pies sold at Apple Hill were not worth the drive.) To make his favorite cozy drink I snagged this recipe from Delish and modified it slightly to fit my smaller pots and apple selection (granny smith and pink) and allowed the spicy fall aroma to fill the house in the morning hours.

I followed the instructions and mashed all of the fruit after 2 hours of a low simmer and let it continue to cook for one more hour before straining it through a cheese cloth. The cider was so delicious and fresh tasting and cozy. Perfectly spiced and surprisingly easy to make.

After breakfast, we headed out into the town to explore our new area a bit more. There was a thrift store near by so I popped in and came across some great quality cookware. Unfortunately I only bought what I had an immediate need for and left the rest but trust me when I say I will be back for everything else. I walked out with a large stock pot and a pan for over sized muffins. I used these to make a huge pot of home made chili and corn muffins for dinner that night

I don’t have much of a recipe for this chili. Although I’ve never made one before, I have a general Idea of what gives chili its flavor so I eye balled it.

I browned 1lb of ground beef

half of a chopped white onion and

1/4 of a red bell pepper (diced) seasoned with salt & pepper and drained the fat.

Added a 10oz can of diced tomatoes

15 oz can of kidney beans

16 oz red beans

covered with water

added garlic powder, salt, pepper, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and cumin all to taste and let simmer and come together over low heat for about 30 minutes more before serving. Always be sure to drain and rinse any canned beans you may use.

To serve, I started our our chili bowls with a scoop of jasmine rice on the bottom, ladeled the chili generously over the scoop of rice and and topped them with cheese and a dollop of sour cream then paired it with the buttery corn muffins. Judging by my husband cussing and muttering under his breath with every bite it was definitely a success. I could not stop laughing that evening with all of the ”Sh*t!” and “F**k That’s so GOOD!” He kept whispering and then shouting. He is such a joy to cook for and it was such a successful cozy meal to have as it was pouring down rain outside. We ate together and watched a bunch of horror films as he prepped his things for work the following day.

Published by D. Nicole

A Newlywed nomadic artist traveling sporadically around the world tasting and experiencing life and love.

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