Cheese on Top
“What is that?”
Ok, not the most gracious way to greet my husband who is, uncharacteristically, standing at the stove. But on the burner is a pot the size of a minivan. In his hand is a 12 mile long spoon. The pot is filled to the rim, molten liquid bubbles bursting wetly splatter the counter, and…the floor. The dog, aka “the Mop” for the extent of this kitchen escapade, has gamely taken on floor cleaning duty.
But, when I asked that rude question I did already know it was one of two things; a lifetime supply of dragon fire salsa, or (and here is where my heart started to sink) a vat of chili.
It’s chili. We will be eating chili for quite a while.
(Why is it absolutely necessary to make chili in cafeteria size proportions? I have a theory. I think it’s because this is xtreme cooking, not to simply put food on the table, but to make a statement about the essential manliness of chili.)
This was 5 days ago, and I have discovered something about me and chili. I don’t really like it. I mean this is a very good chili, but it is chili, and it’s a flavor commitment, no matter how you look at it.
Fortunately there is an upside to chili which I have been exploring daily. Chili is the perfect foil for ends of cheese. At the beginning of this chili sensation the cheese drawer was stuffed with odds and bits of now unidentifiable cheeses I had (kind of) planned to use for a cheese broth. Now, however, the herd has thinned, and despite the fact that the chili is getting more cumin-y daily, I can adapt and freshen its flavor with new and sometimes surprising additions of cheese.
When it’s gone, sometime in 2012 I assume, I’ll probably miss the chili. The Mop is already lobbying for another boys-in-the-kitchen afternoon. Whatever makes them happy is fine by me, especially since chili is also a very good excuse to increase my crème fraiche consumption.