Hello, DC. I’m in Africa right now, so I don’t know much of what’s happening in DC. Still, some news does trickle in to me and I received a particularly disturbing notification, today. John Murphy, all around cool guy and evening chef at Miriam’s Kitchen (one of WLDC’s favorite charities) needs your help. John is currently competing in the Sears Chef challenge. He’s the only non-profit chef in the running and, until last night, he was winning. But for some reason (nefarious, no doubt) votes poured in for other contestants and now John is 500 back from the leader. What I need you to do go and vote for John. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know him. I doesn’t matter if you’ve never tried his food. If he wins this round, Miriam’s Kitchen gets $5,000. That means 5,000 meals for DC’s homeless. Plus, if he goes on to win the competition, overall, Miriam’s gets an additional $20,000. So please, take the time to make a few clicks and feed some homeless people.
As of yesterday, DC’s homeless can now have a healthy, home made dinner at Miriam’s Kitchen. Up till now, this local soup kitchen had only served breakfasts but has now expanded its service to include an evening meal, as well. This is good news for the philanthropically minded late-risers. If getting up around 5am isn’t your style, you can now volunteer in the evenings from 4pm-6pm. If you’re interested, check out the MK website and sign up. Those that want to be really cool should sign up for breakfast service on either the 2nd or 4th Thursdays of the month. That’s when the really awesome people volunteer, if you know what I’m saying.
If last weekend told you anything, it’s that cold weather is right around the corner. I’m writing, dear reader, to inform you of a method of defense against chill. I want to bestow upon you a chili recipe that will warm your body and soul. A chili recipe that is, as of last night, award winning. A chili recipe that has never been written down, before. My very own “Kirk’s Almost Famous Chili Recipe,” winner of the 2009 Miriam’s Kitchen Chili Cookoff.
My recipe is a bastardized Cincinnati style chili. Cincinnati style is sweeter and more complex than its Texan cousin. It’s more about the spices than about the types and amount of chilis that go into it. This isn’t to say that it’s weak or anything, it’s just different. What I tried to do was marry the complexity of Cincinnati chili with the beefiness and savor of Texas chili.
It should come out with a subtly sweet broth that has a slow burn towards the back of the throat. There are hints of bourbon and cinnamon that go very nicely with the change in season and make the chili palatable enough to be eaten without rice or corn bread. Ideally, everything will come out in balance: sweet, but not too sweet and spicy, but not too spicy. And yes, it has beans. Sorry, purists.