Saturday, February 27, 2010

How To Tell a Chili Addict

No, this is not a variant on the old joke of "You can always tell a chili addict, but you can't tell him much!" (But that is true, by the way.)

This is about distinguishing the creature from other, lesser, forms of homo sapiens. Here are a few tips that might help.

1. Does he get a distant, glazed stare when the talk turns to favorite foods?

2. Is his pantry full of dried pepper pods and bags of various sorts of ground and powdered chili?

3. Does he have at least one crock pot devoted solely to the preparation of chili and does it sometimes stay plugged in all day?

4. Does he begin to sample the latest batch before it is even completely hot?

5. Does he keep a big spoon next to the pot, and is the amount of chili that finally makes it to storage (or a bowl!) far less than what the pot originally held?

If you can answer YES to any one of the above questions there is a very great chance that you are dealing with an addict. If YES to all of them, there is no question about it. You are faced with a confirmable case.

Institutionalization will not help. He's usually not dangerous, unless you accept a bowl of chili from him and are gullible enough to believe him when he says "It's not really hot."


Miz Minka said...

Great description, ha ha! My husband is a chili addict (3 out of 5). We have at least six different kinds of dried peppers by the bagful in the pantry at any given time. One of the few advantages of living in a state with lots of "guest workers" from south of the border -- the local supermarkets tend to cater to their tastes.

I wish crock pots were bigger. :) My favorite pot for cooking chili is a 3 gallon stock pot. Best $50 I ever spent at Costco.

And you are keeping Emma away from this batch, right? ;)

Rio Arriba said...

Ha! Yes— I'm keeping the lid on it when I'm not "sampling and improving" nut who's going to save it from ME? Emma helped me prepare this batch and got some steak trimmings, so she's not completely bummed-out.

I have a couple of big stove-top pots, too. But I like being able to leave the crock pot on for a long time without having to watch the flame. The dish-washer cleanable ceramic insert is a great help.

I'd give a lot for real, honest-to-goodness Mexican food market. I almost went crazy in a downtown LA market one time and didn't have enough luggage to carry back what I wanted to!

BobG said...

The only one that doesn't hit me is the one about the crockpot.
We have a large Latino element here in Salt Lake, so there are quite a few Mexican markets around, we have more of them than we have 7-11's. I usually manage to have at least a dozen different types of dried chiles, and fresh ones are common in some of the larger Mexican stores.

BobG said...

I'm a bit curious about the chiles in the photo. I'm guessing a couple of arbols, and the other two are too red to be anchos, so I'd venture, based on color and shape, that they are either guajillos or ripened Anaheims. Am I close?

Rio Arriba said...

Bob, The little fellers are indeed arbóls and the big boys are guajillos. You aced it!

(I made just under 3/4 of a gallon in the crock pot and used 2 arból pods and 2 large guajillos. With lots of ground ancho, ground chipotle, cumin, garlic, some chocolate, a dash of balsamic, and a bunch of other stuff.)

BobG said...

Wouldn't be right without the anchos and chipotles; I probably use them more than most other chiles.