Friday, October 30, 2009

Lots and Lots of Chili

Growing up we always went trick-or-treating and my mom usually made our costumes. Like Raggedy Ann, clown, punk rockers, an angel, a ballet dancer, one year she even crossed to the dark side and let me be a witch. We looked forward to it all year. Never did I know that my mom pretty much hates Halloween. She doesn't like it at all. Last year I was 9-months pregnant with Elise and had the stomach flu so only got off the couch to go to the bathroom and Rob had taken Robbie to his grandparents' house and my sister had gone blind (true story) and just released from the hospital so my mom had to pass out candy. I think she said at least four times that she didn't like Halloween, but she still answered the door with a smile because I asked her to and it was important to me.

I find that I love Halloween. It's so much fun to get your kids all dressed up and meet all of the neighbors and their kids. Everyone seems to come out to trick-or-treat. Even the neighbors who pull into their garage and shut it before they even get out of the car so they don't have to pretend to want to be your friend or go through the akward motions of getting to know strangers. Even they come out.

This year we're having a block party here with our neighbors tomorrow before trick-or-treating...and possibly a fire afterwards. We so badly want to meet the neighbors we don't know yet and hopefully get to know them ina natural way, see who they are and maybe how we can befriend them.

I thought it would be no big deal to just make all of the chili and have the other neighbors do cornbread and such. Then I realized making chili for between 12-60 people can be quite an undertaking. However after a momentary breakdown it has turned out to be no big deal. (so far, ask me tomorrow when the shindig is over).

I borrowed a huge crockpot-style roaster from my MIL that she uses to cook turkeys in at Thanksgiving and cooked 6 lbs of pinto beans in it on Tuesday. Then put the pintos in the freezer. This morning I chopped 5 huuuuge onions and 3 green peppers and browned 5 lbs of ground beef/turkey, added red wine & tomato paste, the peppers and onions and a whole load of garlic and chili powder. Put all of that in ziplocs and now tomorrow afternoon all Ih ave to do is dump all the ingredients in the crockpots and huge roaster add some tomatoes and tomato sauce and i think...I'll be done. SO if this works, I will be making 30 lbs of chili every Halloween. Why not? It's stress free and then you can invite the whole block over!

Today on my cooking blog I'm posting a recipe for my Aunt Terri's Apple Cider AND the Crockpot Lady's Pumpkin Spice Latte's that I'll be passing out to the parents who come with their little trick-or-treaters. Check it out if you're intersted:

Coming Soon: pictures of the kiddos in their Halloween costumes with all of their friends AND trick-or-treating.

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