Given all that's going on, I passed on hosting Thanksgiving dinner at the gallery this year, but when my cousin emailed from Ohio earlier in the week suggesting they'd be around this weekend, I couldn't resist replying, "sure come on over - I'll make dinner!" And once the clan hears of such a plan, it doesn't take long to have a guest list of over twenty.
My mother offered a turkey carcass, giblets and leftovers for turkey soup, but truth be told, I've never made a turkey soup I couldn't wait to make again, so I passed on her generous offer. Instead, I relied on a family favorite - sausage, black bean chili. This recipe came together the first time, when the a mother in a young family of six, I was contemplating the pantry, wondering what I could make without a trip to the grocery store.
Last night, this is the generous recipe was made for 25 people in my 18-quart soup pot. I think we ended up with 23, and there were exactly two servings leftover (and gone today). I'll let you do the math if you want a smaller amount.
Brown in a bit of olive oil in the bottom of the soup pot:
1 yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, mashed and minced
3 pounds of loose sausage - we used Bob Evans this time, but I usually go to the butcher at Groff's
When there is no longer any red in the meat and it's browned in bite-sized pieces, add the following:
4, 19-oz cans Progresso hearty black bean soup
4, 14.5 oz. cans Del Monte petite cut diced tomatoes with zesty jalapenos
1, 15-oz Hunts tomato sauce
2, 15.5 oz cans Goya garbanzo beans, drained of liquid
6 tbs. chili powder
3 tbs. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt (or to taste)
2 tsp. dried habernero pepper flakes
Stir to combine, and heat until bubbly over high heat, but stir frequently to prevent sticking to the bottom. When the chili is heated through thoroughly, turn the burner to simmer, put a lid on, and basically forget about it until dinner, with only a gentle stir occasionally.
I also made a batch of whole grain french bread - substituting for some of the white flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup oatmeal (not instant), and a large handful of 14-grain cereal mix I buy in bulk at the Country Store. One recipe wasn't enough, I quickly found, as it was gone in no time - I should have doubled it. Two batches of gingersnaps, and a delicious hot apple pie concoction - delivered in a crock pot by my cousin Bonnie - served over vanilla ice cream topped of the meal. Suffice it to say, no one went hungry.
Your comments are welcome at the bottom of any post - eat well and buy more art.