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  • Writer's pictureTina

Foodie Friday: Trick or Treat Chilli

Welcome to the first Foodie Friday of October, dear reader. I pondered what my theme for October should be, and I have decided to share the recipes I have used for Halloween for years. Halloween has been my favorite holiday since childhood. Dressing up as someone you are not, running around with friends, getting free candy, does it get any better? Once I moved into my own home in Brookville, PA, I did Halloween in a big way. Living in town inspired me to decorate because so many people would see the decorations. Also, it was always a topic of interest to my students. I knew I was in good with "my kids" because they always left my decorations intact and never vandalized my house. One year, a group of my favorite boys put a few strands of toilet paper on my car, but they came to my door and laughed about it, cleaning it off on their way out. I dejectedly said to Eric, "Oh, I thought they liked me." Eric responded, "Buddy, they do. If they didn't, your car would be unrecognizable, and they wouldn't have told you it was them. Teenage boys are dicks to be funny if they like you." Eric must really, really like me...sigh.

Before The Bean brightened my world, I had my niece and nephew. I love my niece and nephew like they are my own. They are now grown, and with my estrangement from my mom and sister, I don't see them as often as I would like, but my feelings for them have remained unchanged. Adult stuff has no business in a child's world, and even though they are now adults, I would never put them in a situation that would create chaos or turmoil. So, I have resigned to loving them from a distance, sending them love and happiness into the universe every day, and wishing them only the best. However, when they were kids, I loved being an aunt. We spent every Halloween together, and I doted on them. For years, I made their costumes. They would come to Brookville after school, I would spend the day cooking a Halloween-themed meal, then they would get dressed, and we would walk around Brookville trick or treating. It was the best.

For our pre-trick or treat meal, I often made soup. Yes, I have always liked soup. My niece and nephew liked chili with cornbread. Once The Bean came into my life, she, too, had a great liking for chili. She especially likes beans, so making a hot, healthy meal before we went on a candy tirade was important. Today, I will share my recipe for Trick or Treat Chili. Again, I found this recipe in an old Grange cookbook. It has been used so often that it has its own dog-eared index card in my Tinkerbell recipe folder. I have adjusted the recipe over the years to adapt it to my family's liking. However, the base remains the same.

Trick or Treat Chili


1 lb. Lean Ground Beef

1 Small Onion, Finely Diced

1 Small Green Pepper, Finely Chopped

2 Tbls. Chili Powder

2 Tbls. Cumin

2 Tbls. Paprika

1 tsp. Garlic Powder

1 28 oz. Can Diced Tomatoes

1 16 oz. Can Tomato Sauce (Campbell's Tomato Soup Can Be Substituted)

2 Cups Beef Broth

2 16 oz. Cans Red Mild Chili Beans

1 16 oz. Can Whole Kernel Sweet Corn

2 Tbls. Brown Sugar


-Brown the ground beef, onion, and green pepper in a large, heavy-bottomed pot.

-When no longer pink, drain excess fat.

-Add spices and saute' until fragrant, about five minutes.

-Add all other ingredients and bring to a low boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Ladle into soup bowls (I have black bowls for Halloween).

Using a pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter, cut a slice of Kraft Singles and cut out a jack o' lantern face. Lay the cheese pumpkin on top of the chili and serve with a side of Krustez Honey Cornbread and a tossed salad. My family also likes chili served over rice.

I hope you enjoyed this little saunter down memory lane. Be prepared; I have a lot of good memories of Halloween spent with my favorite people in a lovely Victorian town. This weekend will be the perfect weekend to make a hot steaming pot of chili. You could put it in the crockpot and eat it for dinner after you come to see us at the farm and enjoy Hot Ash Wood Fired Pizza, Aunt Julia's Donuts, and shop. Shopping always gives me an appetite. There are a variety of activities going on this weekend. IUP Homecoming is happening in downtown Indiana, and several smaller farm festivals are around the area. Make it a day, and support a number of small farms and small businesses. The weather looks to be clearing up, and the forecast continues to improve. We hope to see you tomorrow between nine and one. Until then, stay safe, be smart, enjoy the fall weather, eat simple, delicious food that helps you to remember the good times, and keep washing your hands.

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