I’ve been a salmon addict ever since I first started coming to Seattle for training and would eat at restaurants where I would get perfectly seared salmon filets. I relished the flavors – wood/fire smoke, lemon, that crunchy bite from the caramelization – bursting on my tongue. It was worlds away from the canned salmon patties I ate while growing up back in Indiana. Now that I live here in the Pacific Northwest, where fresh fish is in abundance, I’ve become absolutely addicted to Steelhead Trout. (And no canned salmon will ever get within 20 feet of my lips again!)
My grandmother, Lila, is one of those old school cooks. She’s from that generation where they made due with what they had and learned how to squeeze rich, flavorful foods out of every possible part of the garden haul. (Proof of this is the fact that the only reason I love cabbage is thanks to her. She’s found ways to make the lowly cabbage plant blossom into delicious dishes that has elevated the vegetable to my most favorite.) She’s also of the generation that never wrote a single recipe down. Her macaroni and cheese is incredible and the most-requested thing she makes and when I originally went to get the recipe from her, the response I got was, “Well, let me think about it for a minute. Get a pen.” So now, Mamaw’s recipe is written down. I make it whenever I can and, since I hosted Thanksgiving dinner here yesterday, I got to make it. I thought I’d share it here.
I made this chili this weekend and it was so delicious that I wanted to share. And it makes a lot of food (as you’ll see from the pictures below), so you’ll be eating it for a few days!
I’ll probably fall asleep in the middle of writing this update. (Edit: I wrote that first sentence approximately 10 hours ago, and then I went and took a nap.) I slept nearly the entire way back from Seattle yesterday, slept all night, and still feel like a zombie. But anyway, it’s been a busy week, and here’s the recap: