Sorry, Mom.

When I was growing up, my mom made chili every fall and winter. I don't remember her making it during the rest of the year. Chili's a warm dish and Texas is already sweltering much of the time. But whenever there was a nip in the air (no matter how small), she'd make chili.

I kinda feel like I should apologize to Blanca B. (aka my mother). Because I wanted NOTHING in the chili but meat and tomato sauce. Sara and I would complain if she even put tomatoes in it. So chili consisted of ground beef, chili powder, and tomato juice (and onions sometimes, but that got her another round of complaints). I really loved it when she'd make chili, but I wanted it plain (lots of cheese was acceptable).

I put together chili in the crockpot this morning, and as I browned turkey meat and onions, then added tomato paste, cumin, and chili powder, and two chipotle peppers (no seeds, chopped) and diced tomatoes, then I chopped up what I thought was a sweet potato (which turned out to be a yam. I did not even know what it was till my fabulous friend Sarah told me this. I'm not an expert in the kitchen, lovey)--I was thinking of my poor mom who was only allowed to make the barest of bare bones chili. (P.S. The chili turned out fabulous. Just leave it in the crockpot for about 4 hours and you're golden. I added carrots to make up for the lack of sweet-potato orange color.)

Mom, come over and I will make you good chili, my love.

I LOVE chili. And somehow my tastes have moved beyond bare bones. I like spicy chili (though not too spicy). I like ground beef chili with different kinds of beans and sweet white corn. I like white chicken chili (thanks to June) served over Fritos. I like cornbread or rolls or crackers with tomato-based chili. Really, if you've got a great chili recipe, send it to me and I will love you.

It's been a little windy today and I'm loving it. (To clarify, I hate wind when it's freezing outside and whips your hair all over your frozen face. But on warm days, a fallish breeze is perfect.) My friend brought me zucchini bread today and that makes me super happy because zucchini bread is my favorite. I could eat the whole thing in one sitting if I let myself. I love that the house smells like chili. It makes me think of fall (even as the air conditioner just kicked on). My BFF Michelle is coming into town soon and I'm hoping fall weather hurries up and arrives before she does. I may have to drive her up to Pikes Peak in search of brisk weather. ;) I need to also hurry up and buy a pumpkin or something before she arrives and make it look like I'm all ready for autumn.

I'm excited for her to come. Michelle and I are like peanut butter and grape jelly. We fit very well together. I'm ready for her to meet Lily and to hold my little baby. I'm ready for her to hear Lincoln's adorable voice. I'm ready for our girls to play together. I'm ready to drink coffee with her in the mornings. (Which we've done more times than I can count, in numerous places we've lived. Still doing it. Still together. #Thankful.) Good times ahead.

But for today, it's a chili-kind-of-day. With spice in the air. Zucchini bread for dessert. Things on my mind. Books I need to read and review. My friend and I were talking today about how we know ourselves so much better now in our thirties, than we ever could have in our twenties. We change over time, loveys. (We might go from bare-bones chili to spice and variety, you see.) But there's something comforting about knowing who we are--and just as important--being known and loved for who we are. I think we each want to be known and valued by the people in our lives. When you find a friend and your soul lightens because she gets you. When your spouse or significant other makes you feel completely accepted just as you are. When your kids look at you like you have the answers and can heal all wounds because they trust you.

Oh, to be loved.

To know ourselves is one of the perks of getting older. To feel more secure in who we are. To trust our decisions. (To be able to eat another piece of cake or have another glass of wine or go to bed early or late, just because you want to--other perks.) Are you okay with growing older? I hope to be a woman who, as she grows older, grows even more comfortable with herself. I want to brush aside what others think and hold on to what I've learned to be true.

I want spicy chili. :)
To try new recipes. To keep old favorites. To share food with friends. To cry with my family when Laura gets married. To walk confidently in who I am.

Dreams of a grown-up woman, lovey. What are yours?

1 comment

  1. I love chili too! A bowl topped with some cheese and a slice of corn bread is perfect for fall or winter weather. :)


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