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Summit Up

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only column wondering why Americans have to be so darn productive on their Days of Rest.Those days of rest, for those who haven’t celebrated them since summer vacation in elementary school, are supposed to be Saturday and Sunday, unless, of course, you live in a country where they get several weeks of Days of Rest. Some of those include Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, Thursday, Sunday and Wednesday.Take for instance, what we saw Summit Countians doing on their supposed days of rest this weekend.) Mowing their lawns. OK, come on folks. It’s fall, for cryin’ out loud, and the grass is dead. No one is impressed by your lawn anymore, so let it go dormant and save your mower blades for next July.+) Holding garage sales: See above.2) Going to work. Whaaaat?!-) Catching a bus.) Debating the type of mulch they should use on their flower gardens.) Tuning up a bike.We did, however, notice a gathering of people in Breckenridge Sunday. From our binoculared-perch, it seemed to us that most of them were spooning stuff into their mouths, waving their hands in front of their faces, breaking out into a sweat and dousing the fire within with beer.First of all, we advise people to never douse the fire within. It is what keeps the home fires going, if you get our drift, and it would be a very dull world indeed without those fires blazing at a hearty clip.Secondly, we advise people to stop putting things into their mouths that cause their hard palates to blister and peel away. Americans were not designed to eat spicy food; they never will be, so stop it!Third, if you’re going to have a chili cookoff, you need to invite the media! We are voracious chili fiends, and could have instantly told you that Chili No. 4 was by far and away, the best of the lot. Why No. 19 won, we are baffled.For those who really did miss the annual Chili-Rama Garage Sale Egg Toss, the winning chili incorporated cinnamon in its recipe! This is not normal, we correctly deduced. But another contestant said she was glad to see cinnamon become more mainstream – that it belongs in more things than coffee, apple pie and pasta. She said she was thinking about putting raisins in her chili! Raisins?! What next?! Bananas?We asked some of the smaller children in attendance to share the secret of their parents’ favorite chili recipe – even if it is a deep-held family secret.Here’s two of our favorites:”Take two cans of beans” (Summit Up Chili Consultant: Does it matter what kind?) “No, like lima beans and those ones that make you fart.” (SUCC: Oh. Of course. Then what?) “Then you put them in a pot and you put some pepper in it and add a fire and some milk.” (SUCC: Milk?!) “Yeah, to cool it down.” (SUCC: Why don’t you just not put in some of the pepper?) “I don’t know. That’s how my daddy does it. Then you add 14 pounds of hamburger and eat it.”Yum!Another one:2 cups dried black beans2 bottles stout (Guinness Extra Or Watney’s Cream); or San Miguel dark beer2 cans diced tomatoes (or fresh equivalent)2 6-ounce cans tomato paste2 long (mild) chili peppers, seeded and diced3 medium jalapeno chili peppers, seeded and diced3 serrano chili peppers, seeded and diced5 cloves garlic; minced1 onion; chopped1 cup whole kernel corn2 tablespoons white vinegar2 tablespoons chili powder1 teaspoon cumin1 tablespoon oregano1/2 teaspoon black pepper1 teaspoon crushed red peppers*1/4 cup peanut butter (Really!)1 teaspoon salt1 tablespoon olive oil2 heads broccoliRinse the black beans, pick out any pebbles; cover with water and let soak overnight. Pour off the water, add 1 bottle of stout, add fresh water to cover the beans about 1 inch. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover part way and let cook for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add water if necessary. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, onions, and all chili peppers. Saut a few minutes until soft, then add to the beans. Add the vinegar and spices and the diced tomatoes; simmer for another half hour, stirring. As the liquid from the tomatoes boils off, start adding stout from the second bottle. About half of this bottle is reserved for the cook. Add the corn and the peanut butter, simmer for another hour or so, keeping it moist enough (with stout and/or water) so that it doesn’t crust over. Stir occasionally. Eat.Whoa. Bean-o anyone?***Somewhere on this page is a photo of a cat whose cheeks look like he might have been raised with gerbils. We have a few potential titles for this cat, but we need more. Here’s our suggestions.3) Where’s the birdie?) … Happy birthday to yooooou!) Where’s the toilet?Send all yours to us at summitup@summitdaily.com.***We’re out trying to be completely nonproductive …


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