Do you have a signature dish? If not is there one in your family?
I don’t have a signature dish from my side of the family. However, I have a good one from my first husband’s family. I don’t do holiday cooking anymore. My son cooks . He uses the same recipe which came from his grandmother. Usually, we make quite a lot of it. It feeds a crowd and reheats well. My husband is not as thrilled with beans these days, so although it used to be a staple in the house, now, it’s a holiday and party dish.
Kraus Family Chili Recipe
NOTES 1: There are no precise measurements for this recipe. You can make more or less, depending on how many people you’re feeding, and how much you want leftover. A little more of this or less of that won’t matter. Go easy (gradually) on spices. Add a small amount at a time. Be especially wary of salt. No matter what anyone says, if you add too much salt, you will never get rid of it. This is a basic recipe. You can double it, triple it, or cut it in half — whatever suits your needs.
2 pounds of good quality minced beef
1 large or 2 small cans diced tomatoes
2 cans (14 oz.) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 very small cabbage (or half a larger one), chopped up
A couple of chopped onions
Powdered or chopped garlic
Chili powder (Or fresh chili peppers, chopped fine)
All spices to taste. If you like your chili hot, you’ll use more and hotter chili powder. Standard grocery store chili powder, unless you live in the southwest, is pretty mild. There are many different levels of chili powder from hardly noticeable to able to remove your tonsils without tools. I like it toward the less lethal end, but with a bit of kick to it.
Brown the onions and garlic in a big, deep pan or chili pot (I use black iron)
Add the ground beef. Brown it, then drain off as much fat as you can.
Add the rest of the ingredients. Stir, bring to a boil, then lower to a high simmer. Cook at a simmer for at least an hour until it comes together. The cabbage will cook down to maybe a third of its original size. If you want filler, some people throw in some carrots or celery or other stuff. I don’t, but you can do whatever pleases your palate.
NOTES 3: Don’t slow cook it all day. It will end up completely tasteless. Check the pot regularly to make sure there’s enough liquid. Add spices as you go. Don’t use oregano unless you want it to taste like pasta sauce.
I serve it with rice. My mother-in-law served it with mashed potatoes. My son prefers crackers. A lot of people want bread on the side. Cornbread works nicely too.
Do you have a favorite board game?
Monopoly. We used to play it all summer long on someone’s front or back porch. We made up a lot of rules as we went along. Recently, I found a version for Kindle that’s pretty cool, so I’m playing Monopoly again. It satisfies my inner capitalist.
Is there a household chore that you enjoy?
No. I might love the results, but I always hate the work. Garry sometimes likes washing dishes. He says he likes beating The Dirt. I am happy to let him continue the age-old battle. There is always more dirt where the original dirt came from.
I used to enjoy gardening, at least a little bit. Now, I can’t bend so nope, not that either. Do writing and taking pictures count as household chores? No? Well, then … back to the original answer.
What is one thing you will never care about?
Justin Bieber. Anyone named Kardashian. Paris Hilton. And a whole bunch of people whose names I can never get quite right.