Thursday, January 21, 2010

So, What's It Gonna Be?

Life overwhelms me now and again.  It comes on strong and tries to push me down.  I hate that.  Other times life rolls off my back like fog coming in over the Golden Gate.   It's a beautiful feeling.  I often ask myself the question whether life is happening to me or am I happening to my life?  What's it gonna be, Bob?

The answer is plain.  The answer is simple.  The answer is always in front of me.  Be your life, Bob.  Don't let life be you.  You'd think that at my age I'd have this stuff down pat.  Well, Pat, whoever you are, it's not down and life still is never simple.  Life should be simple - - - more than we allow it to be simple.

Take yesterday.  On the lake making adjustments to the boat.  Coming home and making a pot of chili.  Stoking a roaring fire in the Hearthstone wood stove.  After dinner driving to the lake for the third time but not for the purpose of checking in on Sparkle Plenty.  It was a drive to the lake with the dog and Wifey knowing well it'd be pitch black out there.

But there was fresh air.  The sounds of boats rubbing together.  The cling-clang coming from the rigging of several sailboats whose owners don't know how to properly secure it (but I still love the sound).  A stiff night breeze that pushed the dock up and down then a couple of times sideways.  A flashlight led the way down the dock and back up again in the pitch black night. 

I thought, is this life happening to me?  Or am I the happening thing that makes life go around and around and around?

When we arrived home Wifey said, "Thanks for taking me out to the lake tonight.  I needed that".  Maybe I made this part of life happen for her and probably for me - an experience that might not have ever happened had I not made the suggestion to take the ride out to the lake.  I don't know, do you?

You make that call as I'm done waxing philosophical here.  That's much too heavy of a load for Bob to continue that line of thinking.  Simple is as simple does, right Bob?

The chili last night was a new concoction from the Food Network.  It was good.  Bitching good.   I'll make it again.  Check it out and let Pat's Chili happen to you!

Pat's Famous Beef and Pork Chili

Recipe courtesy The Neelys

Prep Time:
15 min
Inactive Prep Time:
Cook Time:
1 hr 45 min
4 to 6 servings


  • 6 slices thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound 85 percent lean ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 cup beer (recommended: Budweiser)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (24-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (24-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • Lime wedges, for garnish
  • Sour cream, for garnish
  • Shredded Cheddar, for garnish
  • Sliced scallions, for garnish


In large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until lightly crisp, stirring occasionally. Once the bacon is browned, add the garlic, onions, bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, chipotle chili powder, oregano, and smoked paprika and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until the vegetables are tender and seasonings are aromatic. Add the beef and break it up with a wooden spoon. Once beef is broken up and beginning to brown, add the pork. Break up with wooden spoon like the beef, and brown, until no longer pink, roughly 4 minutes. Stir in the beer and beans. Toss together, then add the crushed and diced tomatoes. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper, if necessary. Transfer the chili to serving bowls and garnish with lime wedges, sour cream, shredded cheese, and sliced scallions.

1 comment:

La Roo said...

I'm a firm believer in the fact of "life is what you make of it". I've had plenty experience with it and have gone both routes. If you sit back and let life be your guide, you're not getting to far and it makes for a dull you. If you decide to do what is best for you and make efforts, life is so much more enjoyable. Do I forget this sometimes?...yes. Life has so many twists and turns, you sometimes loose track . That's my thoughts.
I'm going to copy and paste this into my recipe folder on my desktop. When I go shopping next time I'll pick up the ingredients. Yum, sounds good.

Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
Whiskeytown Lake, Very Northern California, United States