Early Spring Chili

Today is one of those early spring days with cloudy skies, cool wind, and a sprinkling of rain.  So I decided it was time to make “Clean-out-the-fridge Chili”.  I can’t take credit for this wonderful recipe ……full credit goes to my late neighbour and good friend John McKenna.  Whenever we had a skating party he always brought his exceptional Chili and when asked about the recipe, he just said that he cleaned out his fridge and added all the little tidbits to his Chili:  even a half a bottle of beer!   So in honour of John McKenna, I dedicate my Chili, today and in the future, sans beer.

This morning I soaked a cup of dried kidney beans, then cooked them up, setting them aside for later.  Then this afternoon, I fried up about 3/4 lb. of local, free range ground beef in my big dutch oven.  I usually start this in the morning, but my visiting sister Faye and I had other plans.   I started cutting up all the other stuff while it cooked, then added them altogether :


4 medium onions

1/2 sweet red pepper

1/2 green pepper

1 large carrot, diced

1  1/2 cups diced celery

1 cup brown beans

1 can black beans

the cooked kidney beans

4 tomatoes, the last of my garden tomatoes from the freezer

1 tablespoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

2-3 tablespoons chili powder

a couple of shakes of Mrs. Dash

Water to just cover everything

Now the Chili is simmering on the stove and the smell is already making its way through the house.  I’ve barely cleaned up and Melvin is already wondering when it’s going to be ready!

I like to serve Chili with hot buttered whole wheat toast.  And at times, I’ve added a few drops of Tabasco sauce to my bowl to spice it up even more.

It’s almost 5 p.m. and the temperature barely got above 0 degrees Celcius ….a good Chili day, I’d say!



4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Nicole
    Mar 29, 2012 @ 19:18:04

    This is wonderful Linda. John is liking this. He liked to cook once in a while and his specialties were of course chili and corn chowder. Comfort foods like no other.


  2. Betty
    Mar 30, 2012 @ 02:51:30

    Looks sooo…. yummy!!… Now I got a hankerin’ for chili…. Thanks a lot sista!!!!…. xo


  3. Deb Weyrich-Cody
    Apr 25, 2012 @ 10:50:38

    Oh Linda, this sounds SO good, I can’t wait to try it!
    One question though: you mention brown beans as well as kidney beans… I get brown seed from my Kentucky Wonder climbers; is that what your brown beans are? Y’know, these heritage beans are so tough, one year I had them self-seed when the trellis got trapped by an early freezeup. (So much for those wimpy varieties that need the soil warmer than 50F, eh? ; )


    • grammomsblog
      Apr 25, 2012 @ 11:32:55

      What I mean by ‘brown beans’ is baked brown beans……I make my own from white navy beans,etc. baked in my wood cookstove oven….a large batch that I then freeze into 3 containers (2 cups each). But you know, Deb, Chili isn’t fussy and can take any beans you’ve got!
      I agree that heritage seeds are much hardier……they’ve had to be!


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