Friday, December 28, 2012

Baby It's Cold Outside

On the day before Christmas Eve, it was warm enough to be outside in a sweatshirt, in fact, I cooked steaks for dinner on our charcoal grill while my son played in the mud next to me.  On Christmas, it turned cold and snowed overnight.  In southeast Missouri; where most of my family lives; a blizzard was predicted and came.  My brother said where he worked the emergency exit doors were closed by 10 foot drifts and my sister posted pictures of three foot drifts outside her door.  Today in the Ozarks we are under a freezing rain advisory.  Earlier when I stepped out to get something from my car, it was misting and pretty slick on the pavement.  Later in the week, more snow is forecasted.  So what's a girl or boy to do in weather like this? 

Snow drifts in Southeast Missouri
(Picture courtsey of my little sis)

If you live on a farm, you go outside in the darkness, feed livestock, break the ice in the waters, and make bedding areas for your animals, just like hubby and I did this morning.  It makes for a busy morning, but the animals must be cared for.  And it's only going to get busier because next week, our son goes back to school and that adds to the morning craziness.  Another thing I like to do when it is cold outside is to make chili.  Yesterday was no exception to the rule.  I like to let the soup part of my chili cook most of the day in the crockpot before I add my meat and onions.  However, yesterday I had a steak left over from grilling on Sunday, so I made chili with it instead of ground meat.  It was too spicy for our tastes so I'll have to modify my recipe when I use the chili ready tomatoes that I used yesterday.

My basic chili recipe:

1 can kidney beans
1 can chili beans
1 quart canned tomatoes chopped
1 pack chili seasoning mix

Let this simmer in the crockpot all day, it will get supper thick, almost like canned chili.  Then:

Cook 1 lb of ground beef with one medium onion.  Add this to the crockpot and allow to simmer another 30 minutes.  When making larger batches, I use two cans of beans per pound of meat, ie: 2 lbs of meat, 4 cans of beans, 2 quarts of tomatoes.

What a great think to come home to after being at work all day.  Just a few minutes in front of the stove and dinner is ready.  And the best part is that there are usually leftovers for lunch the next day.  The batch yesterday was pretty small, so hubby has the chili for leftovers.