Monday, January 23, 2006


They say it’s important, after a day of strenuous exercise, to “sweat out the toxins”. And when I say “they say” this, I mean I made it up, but it sounds like a plausible story (i.e., if I’d told you I read it in “Shape” magazine, you would’ve believed me).

So, to this end, I’m sitting enjoying a bowl of fiery-hot vegetarian chili, iron-skillet cornbread, and an ice-cold Corona. (Do you ever question the meaning of the phrase “ice-cold”? As if ice can have only one temperature?) I thought I would share with you, my loyal reader(s), the recipes for these delicious eatables. Whoever you are, you should eat more chili.

I. Smoky Chili

Get some dried chipotlé peppers. These are available in Mexico, possibly other places too. Roast them in an iron skillet until they soften and smell good. Then put them in a bowl with a cup boiling water.

Meanwhile, sauté two medium onions in 2-3 tbs of vegetable oil 5 minutes. Add 2-4 cloves crushed garlic, sauté a minute. Add several tablespoons powdered chili pepper and about half as much cumin. Stir constantly over medium-high heat for a minute. Add 1-2 diced tomatoes, cook a minute. Add a big can of crushed tomatoes, some diced bell peppers (red is good), several cups of black beans (canned, or previously cooked), and 1/4lb squished tofu. Yes, I said tofu. Don’t give me that look. It’s good for you.

Take the chipotlés, slice them, remove the seeds, put in blender with their soaking water, and liquefy. Add to the pot. Add a pinch of oregano, half-teaspoon salt, and simmer till the cornbread is done.

II. Cornbread

Heat oven to 450F (that’s 230C, for the Canadians). Put a 10” (25cm) cast-iron skillet in the oven.

In a bowl, mix: 1/2c flour, 2c cornmeal, 1tsp baking powder, ½ tsp baking soda, ½ tsp salt.

In another bowl, beat one egg and 2c buttermilk (or 2c soy milk plus 4tbs buttermilk powder.)

Put 3tbs shortening or vegetable oil in the skillet, return to oven until melted/hot. Pour shortening into milk mixture and beat. Pour milk mixture into cornmeal mixture and beat. Pour everything into skillet, put back in the oven for 20 minutes. Then put under the broiler for a minute or so until the top is lightly browned.

III. Corona

Chill Corona. Open with bottle opener.


Blogger Katinka said... that's how you make cornbread!

Btw, congratulations on making the climb!! Did you notice the change in altitude much? In PNG, we noticed that our bodies adapted to it fairly quickly though I'm told some people react negatively at first...get sleepy or nauseous, even hallucinate,etc.

1/23/06, 9:51 PM  
Blogger Turboglacier said...

How high were you in PNG? Washington is "only" 6,288 feet, but that's high enough that there's only 75% the oxygen of sea level. I definitely notice some extra puffing when going straight up from the Smallish City...

1/23/06, 10:13 PM  
Anonymous girltuesday said...

i've been a vegetarian for about nine years (correction: i eat dairy, eggs, and fish, so what does that make me a lacto-ovo-pescitarian? that’s a mouthful). it's taken my mum at least that long to figure it out that i really don't eat meat. for years when i went home to see my folks, she'd say: “there's some nice chicken in the fridge if you want to make yourself a sandwich.”

“mum, i don’t eat chicken, remember?”

“oh, right. well there’s some nice ham in there . . . .”

sometime this fall i got an excited phone call from her, saying that she’d just made chili for dinner. apparently she’d used some boca brand “ground burger” as a substitute for the real thing and my father had no idea, thought it was great, and had seconds. she was pretty impressed with herself.

anyway, apparently it's a good substitute for block tofu.

1/24/06, 12:37 PM  
Blogger Turboglacier said...

Comments from my new housemates, on (seperately) seeing my dinner last night:

Housemate A: "Mmm! Tofu chili! Yum!"

Housemate B: "What is this 'tofa'? tofi? stuff that you're always eating?"

We are not yet really a "unified" household, as you can imagine...

1/24/06, 12:58 PM  
Blogger Katinka said...

(Our village in PNG was situated in the Eastern Highlands at about 6000 ft. But I remember hearing my brothers accounts of hiking Mt. Wilhelm - which is found along the Bismark Range, and soars at lofty 14,000-15,000 ft)

1/27/06, 12:55 AM  

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