If anybody knows me, my kitchen mantra is 'cook once, eat three times' and not on the same day!

I know in the past when I have peeps in for dinner, they are always horrified by the amount of whatever I make.  I have a massive wok, biggest I have ever come across.   When I make Mac and cheese, I am not done until that thing is overflowing.  I have yet to make a dinner where I don't have enough to feed the proverbial army.  

My mom was pretty much the polar opposite.  In fact her kitchen mantra was 'when it runs out, people just won't be able to have anymore.'  Honestly!  I actually heard her repeat that several times when I had the audacity to suggest tentatively that four potatoes might not be enough for eight people.  And that would be a nervous Nelly nightmare to me!  Even when I weighed 115 pounds and ne're did a carb ever enter my system, I always made enough to sink an airtight ship.

Last night was December's monthly dinner.  Mike had requested chilli.  Now normally, once I discovered Stagg chilli, I felt there was no point in making homemade chilli anymore.  Not when that canned stuff is the best chilli going.  I heard of someone, through a friend, that entered a chilli competition, used Stagg and won!!!  I am not surprised.  But I needed to make enough chilli for 14 people, opening can after can of Stagg was not an option.  Besides I am pretty sure I would have had to traipse around to four different grocery stores to get enough cans of the stuff.

I hauled out my hugest pot, pic below.  It is so big you can bath a baby in it...(I know this cuz I have done it).  I fried up four massive onions, six chopped peppers and a pile of garlic.  I had eight pounds of hamburger in the freezer.  I had a case of diced tomatoes from Costco (eight cans minus one) and I bought ten cans of kidney beans.  I bought ten packs of chillo seasoning (the secret to the best chilli possible).  I used half a jar of beef beyond bullion.  A little cocoa, brown sugar and balsamic.  And voila!!!!!! the biggest pot of chilli I have ever made.

There was so much chilli, plus a smaller pot of a vegetarian one, made with chopped up mushrooms plus all the other stuff, I was almost, but not quite, embarrassed.  But guess what?

  Its all gone.  Every last drop.  I couldn't believe it!!!  I also made two and half dozen hot dogs, toasted half a long loaf of bread, and made two big bowls of coleslaw.  For dessert I bought two big beautiful Black Forest cakes.  I have Styrofoam food containers and I expected to send food home with people.  Well I did manage to give out a couple of containers of chilli but guess what?  It was gone!!!!  All of it!!  The chilli pot is empty.  The coleslaw is gone.  Every hot dog got eaten.  I had to make extra toast.  Holy Crap!!!!  I thought we would be eating chilli forever.  I guess not!!  And there wasn't even one slice  of cake left.  All gone.

It was Ange's turn to pick January's dinner.  And she picked lasagna.  Oh fer geez!!!!  I haven't made lasagna for about forty years and then I only made it twice.  But those two times were enough to teach me what NOT to do.  One of them being to make enough meat sauce to float a boat.  Both times I made it I thought I had made too much sauce.  So with happy thoughts of having frozen sauce in the freezer, I ran out half way through the assembly procedure.  I shan't make that mistake this time.  I still have another eight pounds of hamburger in the freezer.  And I shall make a trip to Costco for another case of tomatoes and cottage cheese and mozzerella and Italian spice and......oops, making a shopping list here,  sorry.

Anywhooo, we had a wonderful time.  That group is such an eclectic interesting bunch.  Half of them still smoke and spent some serious time out on the deck.  Its been a long time since I have been in a group where a good portion smoke.  Monte took them all home, none of them drive, not long after dinner.  I think Mike would have liked to have stayed longer to visit.  He and Monte have amazing conversations and I know he would love visiting with Peter if he had a chance.  Next time I think I will suggest Monte take him home later.

So now I am signing off.  I just had a bed delivered from Amazon.  Peter will finally have a proper bed, albeit in the laundry room!  TTYL

I see a resemblance between Danny Devito and me :(


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