Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cold Weather Food: Chili

When the weather begins to turn cold, the idea of eating sushi becomes less appealing, and the desire for heartier, warmer fare ignites the imagination. When my sister and I were kids growing up in Texas, the first brisk day meant we were having chili for dinner. True, it also often meant we often had to wait till the end of November for any sign of cold weather, and that the days might still reach up toward 70; but in San Antonio, the nights would start to dip down to 40 or 50 degrees, and that meant Mom would be slaving over the stove to make sure all the flavors were on point for her particularly wonderful chili, which excited us to our core.

I remember, being 16 or so, and coming downstairs every few minutes to 'sample' the chili to make sure the flavors were just right. For my sis and I, 'right' meant tasting the beef, chili powder, and lots of heat from the jalapenos. Mom often made her chili almost too peppery-hot for herself because she knew that's how my sis, Ness, and I liked it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A History of Caviar

The first time I tried that elusive (read: expensive) treat that is caviar, I was in my early twenties at a rather un-posh New Years Eve party an ex-boyfriend's brother was throwing (don't ask).

I wasn't exactly interested in even trying the stuff, as I, too, was rather far from being posh at the time. My sister, however, who had already begun introducing our family to the wonderful wide world of wine headed straight for the tin of caviar that had been set out on a table in the kitchen. She proclaimed it as being good, so I took a spoon of it, and found it uninteresting and far too salty for my liking.

As with so many things, tastes change over time. I hated olives the first time I tried them at the age of 17. By 22 I had changed my mind on that one - olives can be good or even great in the right instance, decidedly serving their purposes in martinis and tapenades.