From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

The Liturgical Cookbook: Be open to the happy accidents of life and the kitchen

by Sierra Lawrence, for the Inland Register

(From the Oct. 25, 2001 edition of the Inland Register)

Life is full of surprises — a phone call from a friend you were just thinking of, finding a wild strawberry patch with strawberries on it, or a sweet “I love you” from your child. Just when life seems dreary or old, some small blessing comes along and I remember how wonderful and precious it is. I like to think that is what Christ meant when he told us to have the faith of a child — that is, to open our eyes to all the new, surprising things in life and to thank God when they happen.

One of the nicer surprises I recently experienced was throwing together a chili recipe by substituting some ingredients and skipping others (I didn’t want to run to the store) and finding out that it wasn’t too bad! Another surprise happened when I shared the leftovers with my co-worker and found that she truly enjoyed it, even though she is not usually a chili fan. I hope you enjoy my “accidental” chili, too!

Accidental Chili
1-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon cooking oil
2 14 1/2-oz. cans diced stewed tomatoes
1 12-oz. can of beer or non-alcoholic beer
1 cup water
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
2-4 teaspoons chili powder (depending on taste)
1 tablespoon snipped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1 tablespoon Dijon style mustard
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 15-oz. cans pork and beans, drained (lower sodium, if desired)
1 15-oz. can kidney beans, drained (lower sodium, if desired)
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen whole kernel corn
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow summer squash or zucchini
3/4 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 or 1 whole chicken breast, cooked and cubed (Leave out the meat and, voila!, it’s a vegetarian chili!)

1. In a 4-quart pot, cook the garlic in hot oil for 30 seconds. Stir in the undrained tomatoes, beer, water, tomato sauce, chili powder, oregano, mustard, pepper and, if desired, hot pepper sauce. Stir in pork and beans and kidney beans. Add cooked, cubed chicken. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Stir in corn and squash. Simmer, covered about 10 minutes more or until the vegetables are tender. Dish up and sprinkle with cheese (as much at you like). Serve with corn bread or biscuits. Makes about 10 cups (6 main-dish servings).

(If you have a great recipe that celebrates a Holy Day or a special time during the liturgical year — even Ordinary Time is a great time to eat good food — send it in to the Inland Register, attention Liturgical Cookbook, P.O. Box 48, Spokane, WA 99210-0048.)

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