Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Vegetarian Chili for a Funeral

Photo by dipdewdog
It's been quite a scary week so far.

Stock market is down.

The global economy is getting shaken up.

My husband is somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic God knows doing what for Uncle Sam.

Obama's lead is just one point now.

And David Foster Wallace killed himself last Friday.

So, yeah, it's been quite ominous to say the least. But, as always, I'm thinking about food and I pondered: what would David Foster Wallace (DFW) want to be served at his funeral? What would this great writer, who particularly didn't like using periods1 but loved commas—and loved using footnotes—would want his guests to eat while they reminisced, and cried, and laughed, about his great, yet short life? DFW was born in Ithaca, grew up in central Illinois, got his Master's in Arizona and died in California...hmmm, WWDFWE?

But of course, vegetarian chili!2

INGREDIENTS (serves 8)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 (4 ounce) cans chopped green chile peppers, drained
  • 2 (12 ounce) packages vegetarian burger crumbles
  • 3 (28 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and season with bay leaves, cumin, oregano, and salt. Cook and stir until onion is tender, then mix in the celery, green bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, garlic, and green chile peppers. When vegetables are heated through, mix in the vegetarian burger crumbles. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer 5 minutes.
  2. Mix the tomatoes into the pot. Season chili with chili powder and pepper. Stir in the kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and black beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 45 minutes. Stir in the corn, and continue cooking 5 minutes before serving.
  3. Remeber to have grated chedder cheese, chopped onions, jalapenos, sour cream, and any of your favorite toppings on the side for the chili. Enjoy!
1 For example, in his book Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, DFW's chapter called "Death Is Not the End"—which I just realized it's eerily weird that that's the first thing that came to mind when I wrote this—he writes for two and-a-half pages without using a period. My goodness, man, I had to take a deep breath once the period finally appeared!

2 I know you're probably thinking maybe it should have been lobster, or lobster rolls, but that would have been too easy, don't you think?


1 comment:

Gracie said...

Great post, Diva! I have been thinking about DFW this week too, and went out and re-read the lobster piece in his honor. Only downside is it makes me never want to eat lobster again! He was a great writer and a closet foodie, I am sure. RIP DFW.