Chili – The Ultimate Winter Food

Gentlemen, winter is here, and in many parts of the country, in full force. This means boots, vests, gloves, and chili. As men, we need food that’s going to fill us up, provide us with a solid amount of protein, and keep us warm in the winter temperatures. Chili is not only healthy, but an economical food, with one pot lasting up to a week if you ration it correctly. Here’s my recipe that I use to get me through the cold months.

  • 1-2 lbs of lean (I use 93/7) ground beef or turkey
  • 1-16 oz can of kidney beans
  • 1-16 oz can of spicy beans or chili beans
  • 1 package of French’s Chili-O mix
  • 2-8 oz cans of diced, chili ready tomatoes
  • 1-16 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 can/jar of jalapeños (optional)
  • Total cost: $10-12

Step 1: Brown your ground beef/turkey in a large skillet. If you bought over 1 lb, you may need to do this in stages. Add any desired seasonings to meat during this process. Estimated prep time: 10-15 minutes.

Step 2: Once meat has been browned, drain grease from the pan, being careful not to lose any meat in the process.

Step 3: Transfer cooked meat to a large pot. This is where you’ll be doing the rest of the cooking, so you can set aside your skillet at this point.

Step 4: Combine chili/spicy beans, drained kidney beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, desired amount of jalapeños and Chili-O mix in a large pot. The bigger the better.

Step 5: While stirring, cook the chili for approximately 5-8 minutes on medium-high heat. Keep stirring to avoid burning anything that may settle at the bottom.

Step 6: Lower temperature to a simmer, and let your chili sit for about 2 hours. Be sure to check on it periodically to avoid burning down your house, especially if you have a gas stove.

Step 7: Eat it.

Not too complicated of a process, right?

A Gentleman Handles Conflict

Despite our best efforts to get through each day with minimal hassle, conflict is an ever present entity that manifests itself in many forms. Whether it’s traffic, forgetting to put the toilet seat down for your significant other, or a coworker that’s unhappy with his own life so he takes it out on you, conflict will always be in a gentleman’s life. How he chooses to deal with it, however, is his own decision. Here’s what I recommend:

1.  Always keep a cool head in the situation.  Letting emotions take control is not what a gentleman does.  Emotions cloud judgment and inhibit rational thinking patterns.

2.  Remove yourself from the situation.  While it seems easy to simply address the problem then and there, it will be hastily addressed, further complicating matters.  If need be, find a facilitator that can act as a mediator between you and the other person.

3.  Listen to what the other person is saying.  Too often in our culture we find ourselves simply waiting for our turn to speak.  If you sincerely pay attention to the concerns one is expressing, you may realize something about the situation that you hadn’t before, as well as why this altercation arose.

4.  When it is time to speak, do so without ad hominem attacks (insulting one’s character).  That does nothing but make matters worse, and makes you appear childish.

5.  Offer a sincere apology if you are the offending party.  If not, accept the apology of the offending party.  The key goal of any conflict resolution is to deal with the problem swiftly, and in a way that both parties can coexist peacefully once a resolution has been reached.  It does you no good to hold grudges against another person, nor does it benefit them.

Conflict will always be present in your life.  Use of these techniques should make it more manageable.