C is for CHILI, WISCONSIN-STYLE
One of the fun things about writing is discovering plot twists that you never saw coming. It thrills me to have a character fill in a plot hole that, at first, appears bigger than a lava tube.
|Ancient lava tube on the Big Island of Hawai'i|
How often have you heard a writer say their protagonist started calling the shots during the writing process of a novel? That the character in question objected when the words felt wrong? Or twisted the plot in a completely different direction, even though the author had outlined the scene or chapter in excruciating detail?
When a writer's subconscious takes over and dictates the next move, chances are it is a sign of a well-developed character.
In the case of my Pepper Bibeau mysteries, the protagonist has even taken over some of my cooking duties. Below is a recipe Pepper developed, with little or no help from me. Chili is one of my favorite meals. And while Pepper leans toward fruit-filled pies, it comes as no surprise that she always has a kettle of chili simmering on the stove for football game week-ends. This is especially true when the snow is deep and the wind chill factor dips below minus 20 degrees.
|Setting for FOR EVERY ACTION|
|Setting for DEADLY AS NATURE|
Chili always tastes great, no matter if Pepper is working in
the windy city of Chicago or
the frozen tundra of
Even her home town of Honolulu has restaurants noted for their ono (delicious)
chili. In Hawaii, though, it's served with "two scoops rice."
Pepper's Wisconsin Chili
1 softball-sized sweet onion, chopped fine
1/4 cup walnut oil
3 lbs. 85% lean Ground Round
3 cans chili beans in medium sauce
2 pkgs. chili seasoning mix
1 - 14.5 oz. can of beef broth
3 cups dried macaroni noodles, cooked
Heat oil and add chopped onion, cook until tender.
Add Ground Round, and brown the meat in the onion mix.
Shake chili seasoning onto the meat; add chili beans with sauce, tomato sauce, and the can of beef broth.
Let chili simmer while boiling the macaroni, then add the cooked macaroni to the chili. Continue to simmer for about 30 minutes.
Serve with freshly grated Wisconsin cheddar cheese and oyster crackers.
(Salad and Wine optional . . . nah, just kidding, the wine is necessary!)