12th Man = Chili


So I have made Giants play-off chili three times in my life, and all three times have resulted in good luck for the Giants-- but Sunday was the first time I actually had good luck making the chili . . . to explain: the first time I made Giants play-off chili was in 1991-- the Giants played the Bears that afternoon in the NFC divisional play-off game, which they won 31-3, and then they eventually went on to beat Buffalo in the Super Bowl-- and I had recently received a crock-pot as a gift from my parents, once they discovered that I went off the William and Mary meal plan and pocketed the money, and so I was cooking for myself (which consisted of eating fast food, catfish we caught in the Chickahominy River and microwave burritos) and I decided to inaugurate the crock-pot by making some chili so I bought some beef and peppers and onions and chili powder and tossed it into the pot and left it to simmer for a few hours, but when I returned there was a slick of viscous golden liquid atop the chili and there was so much of it that I couldn't scoop it off, it had permeated the entire batch and the chili was disgusting and quite inedible and by this time my roommate Jason had returned and he took a look at the concoction and asked, "Did you brown the meat before you put it in?" and I said, "Brown the meat?" and he said, "You didn't brown the meat and drain the fat?" and that's when I learned that you need to brown the meat before you put it in a crock-pot and by this time the game was nearly on, so I put the top on the crock-pot full of fat saturated meat and peppers and unplugged it and . . . I forgot about it, I suppose it got lost among the detritus on the floor of our room and I "discovered" it a few weeks later; the chili was dry, irremovable, and covered with blue, green, and yellow fungus and so I did the only thing we could-- I tossed the crock-pot off the third floor balcony to the bricks below and a cheering crowd watched it explode into shards of pottery, chunks of chili, and clots of fungus; the second time I made Giants play-offs chili was in 2001, we were living in Damascus and the Giants played Minnesota in the NFC Championship game, which they would win 41-0 and then go on to lose to the Ravens in the Super Bowl (which my friend Drew and I watched at the U.S. Marine house in the middle of the night) and while I was cooking this batch of chili-- and I should mention that I browned the meat-- the power went out, which was a common occurrence in Damascus, so I had to cook by candle-light and I thought I might have to carry the chili to Drew's apartment for the game, because his power was still on, but miraculously, my power came back on an hour before game-time; unfortunately, while I was cooking in the dark, I over-salted the chili, and I soon learned that you can't erase the taste of salt with more spices, and so by the time my wife got home, it was nearly game time and I was close to tears and I hysterically beseeched my wife to help me-- I worked so hard! my chili tasted awful! more chili powder didn't work! more cumin didn't work! more cilantro didn't work! help!-- and my wife looked at me in disbelief and said, "Why don't you brown some more meat, and add a couple more cans of tomatoes and beans and dilute the salt?" and I realized: this was why I married her! this was brilliant! utilize ratio and proportion! more chili and the same amount of salt=less overall salt! and so I was able to save this batch of chili, and everyone enjoyed it as well as the resounding Giants victory; and the third time I made Giants play-off chili was, of course, on Sunday, and the Giants throttled the Packers 37-20, and not only that, but I finally got my culinary act together and made an excellent batch of chili (in a crock-pot) and so I think this bodes well for both the Giants and future batches of my play-off chili.

8 comments:

rob said...

really, jimmy houston? we ate a lot of catfish, did we? that element of this sentence causes me to question the veracity of the rest of it. even though i personally witnessed the first of these episodes, i now find myself wondering if it actually happened.

Igor said...

And what of La Tolteca? Or Peking? Or the Baja Bean Company? Eating with Dave was a major part of my college memories, what with me not going to class or making a difference on campus. And yet it's all been washed away by schools of fictional catfish. Hey, "Huck," I ate beef and broccoli with you 1-2 times a week.

rob said...

'schools of fictional catfish' would be a great name for a band. not as good as 'scrod rocket', mind you, but pretty good nonetheless.

need more scrod rocket sentences.

Igor said...

. . . if Dave hasn't abandoned memories of his friends' band in favor of revisionist historical memories of his time playing the blues on a Miss'ippi porch with Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters.

Dave said...

i ate a lot of catfish. went to fernandez's dock with mazzoni quite often . . .

we also did some crabbing-- that was more with fogg and fishel. and yes plenty of baja and la tolteca-- sorry to leave anything out.

Igor said...

In the well over 1000 days you spent in Williamsburg, if you ever caught and ate catfish (and I'm not saying you did) I'd wager it happened fewer than five times. At best. If you enjoy maritime fiction, that's fine. Just don't try to pass it off as your personal history and expect Rob not to chime in.

rob said...

i can't believe scrod rocket hasn't deigned to make an appearance in the comments. they must be too busy angling for croaker with dave. it was awesome when we used to do that.

Lecky said...

Gents you have organized a "fishing" trip every summer for the last twenty years of which Dave has participated and on which no one has ever fished. You must accept some responsibility for Dave's distorted reality.

A New Sentence Every Day, Hand Crafted from the Finest Corinthian Leather.