In my house, the kitchen has always been where my friends, family, and I congregate. We sit in a circle, hunched over the table or sprawled on the floor, giggling, gossiping, or just being, savoring the little moments that always seem so much larger in retrospect. We're kind of like a coven, assuming a coven keeps stashes of Diet Coke and brownies on-hand. Here in San Antonio, though, I'm too far away from my family (Baltimore-based) and most of my close friends (scattered) to keep this homey ritual. So in tribute, I've created this virtual space, where the back door is always open and there's always something warm in the oven.
INGREDIENTS: 1/2 lb. (1 1/4 c) Pinto Beans 1 clove garlic (crushed) 1 lb. ground beef 4 tsp. chili powder 1 cup chopped onions 1 tsp. salt 1 cup chopped celery 1 tsp. sugar 1/2 cup chopped green pepper 2 cans (1 lb.) tomatoes COOK beans 1 1/2 - 2 hours. DRAIN & save 1 cup juice. COOK meat until it loses its red color. ADD onions, peppers, and garlic. COOK 5 minutes. ADD seasonings. BREAK up tomatoes. COMBINE all and bring to a boil. REDUCE heat; SIMMER 1 hour. SERVE with cornbread, Lone Star beer, and plenty of napkins. ENJOY!