28 March, 2011

chili, as american as pizza or chow mein

chili cook-offs, chili feeds, that's how we know it's an American original, when they make it a spectacle. i have a love hate relationship with chili. i've been working on a recipe for about 20 years and although i like the result, i'm not convinced that it's the best it can be. this recipe works best if you don't think of it as that stuff that comes in a can from Hormel. the ingredients are similar to what i would put in an authentic Mexican mole`. i did enter the recipe (or part of it) in a contest and received a 4th place.


2 medium size poblano peppers
1 red bell pepper
roast/char skin over open flame, put peppers into covered container and steam( 30 minutes or 'til cool) de-seed and peel skins
2 tsp each coriander seed and whole cumin seed
toast in dry pan and grind in mortar and pestle
1 large onion, chopped
1-2 tbsp minced garlic
salt and pepper
saute` till colored and add
2 cups canned or fresh(in season) diced tomatoes
reserved peppers diced
1 small can green chile`
2 tbsp powdered ancho chile
toasted/ground cumin and coriander seed from above
enough liquid/stock to cover
cook over medium heat 20 minutes
remove to crock pot/slow cooker cook for 2-3 hours
1 lb browned ground beef
[or 8 oz tempeh( fermented soy product)]
2(1 lb) cans black beans
heat till warmed through
serve garnished with rice or tortillas
and avocado, sour cream or goat cheese

10 March, 2011

the coming revolution

 Just gonna see where this gets me, you know the old rule of civility, no politics, religion or other controversial subjects in mixed company. but what has happened in the Wisconsin legislature over the last month has me 'kinda radicalized',

I have kept up with news from Wisconsin, I was born there and spent 25 years of my life there. last night the state senate pushed through a bill that strips collective bargaining rights from public employees, the method and the intent of this is purely political statement by a rogue  republican governor(and his rubber stamp assembly and senate) is shameful. this is not how governance works, i don't care if Scott Walker was elected and campaigned on these values. the people of the state have spoken, in numerous polls the policies of the current governor have been repudiated. maybe the polls are wrong and the people of Wisconsin do want their friends and neighbors thrown out a job so the budget can be 'balanced'. people speak of the 'redistribution of wealth' and socialist policies that are at work in state and national budgets. guess what folks, that's what government by the people and for the people means. the current trend among conservatives is for an upward redistribution, in trying to create a better business environment they are dragging down the working class.

I'm not gonna to claim to be an expert at government or a social policy. i know what is right and proper, and i know what works for most the population. the current policies and actions in Wisconsin do not work for most of the population. pulling us out of a recession(actually a depression) will not occur because one state has lax environmental laws and a low labor costs. prosperity will not happen by preventing outsourcing. America will never be a great industrial engine like it was 60 years ago. If current politicians try to tell that they are balancing the budget by cutting the wasted dollars in education and environmental protection they are living in a short term business model that will not benefit most of the inhabitants of nation.