I made chili yesterday.
Now, I understand that for most people, making chili is not an especially momentous event. And it really shouldn't be, even for me. I mean, I know how to cook - and not just bachelor food, either. Chili, however, intimidates me.
Partly that's because I don't really like chili. I'll eat it, but it's not something I ever find myself in the mood for. So I don't have any idea what people want or expect when they decide to eat chili.
As corollary of that, I don't cook chili. Yesterday marks the second time in my entire life that I have made the attempt. The first time was almost exactly a year ago, and for the same occasion: we're having a fundraiser at work for the United Way. One of the events is the chili cookoff. You'd think it would be easy to find people who actually know how to cook chili, but apparently not.
I just hope that nobody comes to harm. I mean, the ingredients are all edible... individually. It's the cumulative effect that worries me. For one thing, the recipe* includes a lot of garlic; anybody eating this chili is guaranteed to be proof against vampires for at least four hours. Possibly proof against their co-workers, as well. For another thing, there's a little bit... okay, a lot... of tabasco in the mix. The tabasco bottle was labelled "Instant Death", but that did not deter me. I may not know much about chili, but my food will not be bland!
Chili, for me, doesn't really count as cooking. It's more of an adventure - the sort of experiment that would make even Dr. Frankenstein pull back and say, "You know, maybe we should reconsider this." Pity the poor souls who must sample my work.
* Not really a recipe. It's more a conceptual recipe than an actual, reproducible formula.