Tracy pre-soaked 5 lbs of mixed kinds of beans a night before, and Lynnda pre-cooked ground beef. I got to Nickelsville an hour earlier than usual to meet with Glen, who is kindly helping me create a facebook page for one of my blogs - that was good for the beans, as they started to cook before Lynnda got there, but not good enough after all: later, after total of 2.5+ hours of bean cooking and what we presented as finished chili, Mike pronounced them as undercooked still - and so we left it on a small flame to hopefully finish after Lynnda and I left. Perhaps today I'll find out if it was ever soft and done.
Small cooking note: Lynnda and I differ on chili cooking methodology - she believes and has experience of no harm in putting beans and tomatoes together for cooking, while I believe (and have a sad experience of it) that acid in tomatoes may stop some beans from ever cooking soft, therefore tomatoes should be added after the beans are completely soft. Well, they WERE soft enough for me (I like beans in my chili still intact) when we added tomatoes after more than 1.5 hrs of cooking time, but apparently general taste for beans in chili is way softer than mine, so we may find out the about the tomato/bean theories... I should remember to ask today.
|As you can see Garrett and Richard are the real chefs; Mike (in the middle) is just sitting, and like a good overlord doing nothing but smiling:)|
Lynnda also brought 2 big bags of tortilla chips which we planned as chili companion, but as the beans took seemingly forever to cook, the chips started to disappear while guacamole dip and salsa miraculously appeared as a companion to them:)... Having nothing to do but season and watch the beans slowly simmer, Lynnda and I cooked 2 lbs of rice to go with chili instead. Before we left Nickelsville - the darned beans still cooking and not soft enough - Lynnda set out in the bowl another chili companion she brought: shredded cheese. Wonder if the cheese lasted - I can easily imagine that someone creatively made nachos from remaining chips and cheese while waiting for the beans in chili to get soft (at this point I can only hope that Lynnda's bean/tomato theory was right, and mine was wrong).