October 19, 2011

First Really Cool Day

Well it is here, the first day of the year that you feel chilled all day. Cooler than in the mid of winter, because it was eighty degrees yesterday. I even have on my long pants. Me being a person that has been told OK, Christmas is next week you can stop wearing shorts to work now. As I ride down the road today I expect to see sheets spread over some plants or flowers that someone is going to try to make last a week or two longer. I plan on doing this to my pepper plants that still have some bearing left in them. My flowers are prettier now than they have been all summer. The cooler weather and a little more rain has really brought out the best in them. Important thing that I remember old people saying was to take the sheets off during the day so the sun when it comes out will not burn them up through the sheet. This is also the time that if  you are lucky enough to have tomato plants still bearing to pick them all off; They will ripen even if they are totally green. It was always a thrill to have fresh tomatoes for Thanksgiving dinner. This was a true accomplishment to my grandmother.
A wonderful thing about it being cooler is that on my birthday I always got a new sweater or some kind of wintry shirt. August was too hot to wear the new garment, but the day would finally come that it was cool enough to wear it. Most of the time I rushed it and burned slam dab up trying to wear it to a football game in September. I can remember riding the school bus even sweating like a pig in that new cowl neck sweater with the purple stripes. This particular shirt was bought at Anderson Discount store. I was the shiz-nit in that sweater, I thought. Only thing not hot about me was how hot I really was; Sweating like a pig on the school bus ride home. Mean girls were always somewhere when I needed them the least. One of them on the bus just had to ask, "are you not burning up?" Dah, she couldn't tell by the sweaty wet hair I was now sporting.
Now is also the time that dried beans are the best. Pintos being my favorite, but for some reason we fix more white ones. Great Northern is what is on the package, but they will always be white beans to me. The time we spent at Uncle Keiths should have turned me against either kind pinto or white. We had one or the other day after day. Then the drama of the bean supper would start with Uncle Keith and Daddy sitting at the same table for supper. It must have been that Uncle Keith didn't like sharing his beans with Daddy's family. This would be the time that he would have some smart ass thing to say about who bought the beans or how much we as a family owed them for letting us live with them. Fighting words to my daddy for sure; That was when the shit hit the fan or really I should say the beans hit the floor. It was bad enough that the normal cleaning of the kitchen was a chore. The sink was a small single sided one and my aunt had to heat the water for washing the dishes. The two brothers just added to it by knocking everything off the supper table.  The four children were not a bit of help, the boys just didn't and I was hiding outside till the fight was over. The longest four months of my life was spent in that house before you get to the Beaver Dam Bridge on County Road 88. My aunt really tried to make the only little girl in the house, me, feel special. She used to cut strips of cotton cloth and wrap my hair around it when it was still wet. When I got up in the morning she would take the rags out of my hair and there would be the best Shirley Temple curls you ever saw. She had a great talent for just the right way to twist my hair around them. I tried it years later with my girls and the outcome was not near the ringlet curls that I so proudly wore to school. The bus driver even told me once when my hair was curled that it looked pretty. I was sitting on the spot right next to her that was the heater to the bus. This was not a seat, but she let me sit there. She couldn't even just be nice she had to add that my hair sure looked better that day than the day before. Like ok, say something nice, but mess it up by adding the day before to it. The days of pinto beans, standing in front of a coal heater and the dirt road the bus took us to school on are part of the past. The past seems to make up what many of us become. I hope that I have gathered enough pinto beans that I can now make chili. You know life hands you lemons you make lemonade; Life hands you dried beans make some chili.
My Chili
3 pounds ground beef
2 large onions
3 chopped celery stalks
1 chopped garlic clove
1/2 cup bell peppers chopped
1 can chicken broth
1 can beef broth
2 cans rotel chili fixin's
2 cans chili style diced tomatos
3 cans of dark red kidney beans
2 packs McCormick Chili seasoning
Palm full of salt-----Palm full of pepper---Palm full of sugar
Splash of vinegar---Tlbs. or so
Brown ground beef, onion, celery and bell peppers together. Drain Fat
Pour the rest of the stuff in in order listed above except the beans.
Simmer slowly a couple hours or more, then add the dark red kidney beans.

No comments:

Post a Comment