Thursday, December 15th, 2016

Somehow, I managed to score an entire two weeks off work - I still can't believe it, but only one person requested any part of the two weeks leading up to Christmas, and that was only our last day before The Day. (We as a team are allowed two people scheduled off on any given day before any further requests have to be made using personal time rather than vacation.) So, with only a month to go, I was able to schedule myself a nice two-week vacation and don't have to go back until the week after Christmas. The odds of something like this... well, it kinda makes me want to go look into a lottery ticket...

Anyway, the Boy has today - and probably tomorrow - off, so it looks like his Christmas holiday has already effectively started, thanks to Portland's "Snowpocalypse"... or, as I'm referring to it, the Winter Whimper. Honestly, not quite an inch and a half of snow and the city's populace loses its collective mind. So I'm spinning some... slightly non-traditional seasonal music (Nox Arcana's Winter's trilogy of albums) as Kestrel and I prepare a long-overdue treat for dinner tonight: my Good Ol' Texas Chili!

Thirty minutes into preparation and it already smells like this is going to be a rather memorable batch. A large yellow onion, large-chopped and sauteed, a pound of hamburger browned in the onion deglaze, the various spices and vegetables (red kidney beans, two cans of Ro-Tel, a small can of pureed jalepenos, and a half-dozen roasted, chopped mixed hot peppers), a pound and a half of coarse-cubed chuck roast seared and browned, all layered into the Crock-Pot. Add enough beef broth to bring the mixture to the right fluidity (a matter of taste, much like the quantities and types of spices), stir it together, and start the Crock-Pot on the ten-hour setting. Along about noon, I'll check how liquid it is and how the flavors are marrying and make any mid-course adjustments that might be needed, and then we'll probably wander up to the grocery store for any fixin's we might not happen to have on hand.

A nice big bowl of that (with sour cream and shredded cheddar and maybe some chopped onion), a wedge of cornbread, something appropriate to drink (depending on my mood, either a cold glass of milk, or maybe a good beer)... I like to cook because I like to eat. This is good stuff.

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