I love the fall. The changing leaves, the smell of rain and wet earth, the days of crisp sunshine…
But then there’s the days on end of gray skies and rain. I normally love the rain, too. It’s the biggest reason I moved to the Pacific Northwest. But sometimes enough is enough, and the gloomy blues hit. And frankly, I think daylight savings is a joke and a half. I’m ready to crawl into bed by 6pm now because it’s pitch black outside my windows!
Today is a downer day for me. It’s not just the weather, it’s a lot of things. Missing my family. Work stress. Home life stress. Money stress. Health stress… You know, everyday garbage that piles up and eventually life overwhelms and all I really want to do is climb into bed and pull the covers over my head.
I don’t though. I have too much to do! I guess that’s what keeps me going. I know that in a month or so the days will start getting longer again, there will be slightly more light and less gloom. For now, I can’t bury my head under the blankets, I’ll just bury it in my work and hope for the best.
Here’s a healthy comfort food recipe I hope you enjoy. It’s my Crock pot chili and it’s wonderful to warm up with during a gloomy fall day.
In a 6 quart Crock pot combine:
1 lb extra lean ground beef browned with 1 Tblsp (more or less to taste) red pepper flakes.
1 26 oz can diced tomatoes (with juice)
1 16 oz can chili beans
1 16 oz can kidney or red beans
1 16 oz can great northern or white kidney beans
2 cups diced celery
1 large onion, diced
1 large green pepper, diced
2 Tblsp (or more depending on taste) Garlic powder
or add 1 heaping Tblsp minced fresh garlic last ½ hour of cooking
¼ cup cumin
¼ cup chili powder
½ cup brown sugar
1 pkg onion soup mix (optional – it adds some beef flavor)
1 Tblsp ground mustard seed
1 can tomato paste (optional to thicken. Add last ½ hour of cooking)
Cook it all on high for 6 hours or low for 10, until all veggies are soft.
I don’t add any extra salt, there’s enough to me in the tomatoes.
Serve with crusty bread or my favorite, buttered Saltine crackers.
Enjoy and don’t let the gloom get to you!
Anna Leigh Keaton