In which I do Texas things

Somewhat amusingly, a state that I’m reasonably sure is will-issue for driver’s licenses (all you need is a pulse) has a mandatory annual vehicle inspection program, which in my county includes emissions testing. As I need the inspection before I can get plates, I took Leviathan the F350 (which, being a diesel, doesn’t need emissions testing, just the safety inspection) to one of the local places today. I’ll take the Cobra for its inspection soon (it needs the emissions test).

And then I went grocery shopping at the closest HEB, which is apparently a Texas institution. It is a very nice store, and I will be returning. The benefit of this, of course, is that I now actually have food in the house. I’ve even started a batch of chili, which will be ready to eat around dinnertime tomorrow.

I just wish there was a Whole Foods closer to my house. The nearest location is just under 17 driving miles away. Maybe we’ll get one out this way soon. There’s some fresh development going on.

There are a few things I still need to pick up, but I have enough things to actually eat at home now for several days. Yay!

It’s the little things. 🙂



  1. Would you care to post your chili recipe? My DH likes chili, but I know my chili isn’t the same as Texas chili. And now that you are in Texas, yours is Texas Chili. 😉


    1. Well, not much of a secret. I use Carroll Shelby’s Texas Brand Chili Kit as a starter. It’s the best available, IMGDO, and I haven’t been able to top it. What I do from there is hot-rod the hell out of it. 🙂 This batch, I started with some 80/20 coarse-ground chuck (about 2-1/2 lbs). You can substitute just about any meat you care to use — I’ve made turkey, venison, buffalo/bison, rattlesnake, and alligator chilis at different times. Sometimes, I’ll take some round or cube steak and cut it into roughly 1/2 inch cubes instead of using ground meat. Brown the meat. Drain the fat. In the pot (I use a slow cooker), put the meat, a can of tomato sauce (15 oz by weight), a half-can of water, and a 12 oz. beer (this time, it was an Abita Brewery Turbo Dog from Louisiana), and the spice packets from the chili kit (both the base and the small cayenne pepper packet). Here’s where I start modifying. This batch got a little Tobasco sauce and about 4 drops of Dave’s Insanity Sauce Private Reserve (which came in a wooden coffin wrapped in caution tape, the bottle is signed and numbered by Dave, and I had to sign a waiver to purchase). 4 drops in 2 quarts or so of chili may not sound like much, but it was enough. Bring to a boil, cover, then turn the heat down and let simmer for at LEAST 20 hours. About 30 minutes before serving, crank up the heat and add the masa flour packet if it needs a little thickening. Bring it up to a bare boil again then turn it down. I had it tonight with fresh flour tortillas (well, yesterday’s fresh tortillas) made at the HEB store and still warm when I bought them (a minute or so in the microwave and they were back in as-made shape), and a beer (this time a Full Moon wheat ale). The extra is packaged and refrigerated for later in the week. 🙂


      1. Well, I did copy/paste the recipe into a .doc, but since I live in France, I probably will not be able to buy the starter package or the “Dave’s Insanity Sauce Private Reserve”. 😉

      2. Well, darn. Can’t get almost any of those ingredients, but I like the idea of hotrodding Carroll Shelby chili!

      3. As I told FF, virtually all of that is available on the web. And if you can’t find the mix? This claims to be Carroll Shelby’s chili recipe. But then you could always order a 12-pack of the chili mix from Amazon. Note that the Shelby Chili Kit folks have changed their packaging recently from the familiar brown paper bag to a paperboard box. Which is available here online. This from the first page of Google listings for “Shelby chili”. Elapsed time: 0.28 seconds.

      4. “This” calls for 1/2 cup ground red chili? Wow! I couldn’t eat it, but my DH would love it.

      5. It’s not cayenne or habanero powder, it’s just mild red chili powder. And it goes into a half-gallon of finished product.

      6. Ah, but being in a foreign country, doesn’t let me get almost anything they carry. But I’ll keep this in mind if I trek south again. And thank you for the link.

      7. Virtually anything is available on the web. The point of chili, IMGDO, is to make it your own. I don’t think I’ve made two batches the same ever. Some were more successful than others, sure. A note on heat: my chili will warm you from the inside. There is no sledgehammer of spicy-heat at first bite. The long, low simmer is one of the keys to this. Above all, it has to taste good. Heat without taste has no point.

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