Monday, November 5, 2007

Arson Patrol and Chili

All Hallow's Eve and Halloween night were, last year, very exciting in our district because there were something like 40 arsons on those two nights alone . . . we made national news.

This year it was decided we would have no repeat of the previous year's events, so a 48-hour, city-wide arson watch was put into effect that included extra police coverage, helecopters over our historic districts, local businesses and about 1,000 volunteers to patrol the neighborhoods in police-issued orange T-shirts using orange flashing lights on our vehivles to identify our patrols as well as alert anyone in the area that we were present.

Our nieghborhood hadn't a single arson this year as a result . . . kinda cool to see what motivated people can achieve.

Our house was headquarter's for two days of all-night patrol volunteers . . . there was food, drink, homework, board games, Will & Grace. Lots of fun with some great people.

Favorite Moment: Jayke Pena shows up on our front porch in sandals, a toga, big jewelry and perfectly guilded laurel leaves, quoth he, "Don't *tell* me I'm the only one who dressed up!!?" Yup. He was. And it was a brisk night to be flapping about in a toga, no matter how authentic. . .

Here's the chili served at our house that night (you'll need a bigger-than-usual kettle to accomodate):

Caffienated Chicken Chili

8 cans navy beans
24oz. Corona (yeah, the beer)
1 large white onion, chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 T minced fresh garlic
2 fist fulls of chopped celery
3 bunches of cilantro, chopped
3 fresh poblano peppers chopped, seeds included
2 bunches green onions, chopped
6-8 grilled chicken breasts, chopped (I always say go for more meat)
1 pound fried bacon, chopped fine (throw the grease into the pot for flavor)
1/2 c., heaping, dark roast coffee run through the coffee grinder until powdered
1 Lime, juice only
1/8 c. chili powder
2 - 3 T cumin
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp sea salt (may need more, taste as you go)

Set aside your cilantro, lime juice and chopped green onions until 30 minutes before serving to keep flavor and color at peak. Pour your beer and chicken broth into you kettle on medieum flame. Add bacon, beans, spices and vegtables; sautee about half an hour. Add remaining ingredients and serve with Frito's, shredded cheese and sour cream.
My own recipe. Serves at least 12. Freezes and cans well.

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