Winter Calls for Soup

There’s nothing like a steaming bowl of soup on a cold winter’s day:  cheesy potato soup, chili, tortilla soup, navy bean soup, butternut squash soup, etc. It warms you inside and out. Served with crackers, crispy strips, or cornbread, soup is a meal in itself. Can you smell it wafting through the house as it simmers? Hmmmm…Here’s another one pot soup.

Recipe:  Cheater’s Chili

1 pkg. Bear Creek Country Kitchens “Darn Good Chili” mix (perfect blend of seasonings)
1 can tomato paste
1/2 cup diced onions
1/2 cup diced fresh tomato
1 small can of kidney beans, drained
1 lb. natural Angus ground beef (85/15 fat content)
1 tbs. vegetable oil

1. Brown meat and onions in dutch oven with a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Drain the pot of grease.
2. Follow the directions on the soup package regarding the water and tomato paste. 
3. Add the fresh diced tomato and drained kidney beans.
4. Cook covered for the required amount of time on the package.
5. Serve with cornbread and grated cheese, if desired.

Option 1: In a soup bowl, place a handful of Fritos. Spoon some chili on top of the chips and top the chili with some grated cheese. Whalah, Frito pie!

Option 2: My grandfather, Eddie Kratz, always added broken-up spaghetti pasta to his homemade chili and served it with saltine crackers. Best I ever had.

Thought: I can’t bring up Eddie, who didn’t want to be called Grandpa, without thinking about my grandmother, Mammaw Kratz. She cooked three full meals a day for nearly forty years for Eddie and their four kids, but she was terrible at desserts. Mammaw never used a recipe, let alone a measuring cup or spoon. Mom said you had to soak everything her mother baked in milk in order to soften it enough to eat. The cakes were as hard as bricks, and Mom would have knocked her irritating, older brother Norman out cold with one, if she had aimed better when they were in high school.

A 1948 Indiana Christmas: Mammaw, Eddie, Uncle Norman, Mom, and one-year-old me. Mammaw died ten years later of a stroke, caused by clogged arteries from all the fatty meats and starchy foods she prepared and ate; cholesterol wasn’t a heart disease issue then. Eddie owned the neighborhood grocery store, so they were never short on food;  however, he brought home what didn’t sell and was about to spoil, too. Everything was natural back then. Nobody talked about healthy diets. Remarkably, Mom and her siblings took after their dad in being thin.


About Cyranette

I have been writing since I was 11 and am now a grandmother of 9. Aside from my family, I love writing, reading, movies, gardening, genealogy, and travel. I met my soulmate online and we've been married 19 years. I am a survivor of rape, abuse, and cancer. I believe in love, kindness, and common sense. I was born/raised in Indiana and have lived in Massachusetts, Texas, and California. I have visited: most of the United States, British Columbia, Germany, Austria, and Costa Rica. My husband and I would like to visit England, Europe, and New Zealand and to take a train ride along the Canadian/American border. I have written essays, articles, short stories, a romance novel, a self-help book, and several children's books.
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