Category Archives: Chili

Thursday Thoughts (Peppers, Perps, and Protesting Preachers)

Another Thursday has leaped/lept upon us with all the fury and fluff of a rabid Care Bear. What am I to do but share a few thoughts with you?


My little girl loves hot peppers. When she eats pizza, she literally, and I do mean literally, covers it with crushed red peppers. I don’t know how she does it, either.

habaneroWell, today she decided to follow a recipe for grilled chicken that included freshly sliced Habanero chili peppers. I have no idea what it will be like, but when I got home from work she proceeded to describe to me the pain she was experiencing. It would seem that while slicing and dicing the peppers, she got some under a finger nail. Now, she is in pain.

I am not looking forward to the chicken.


Earlier this week I read of two punks who beat up a 98 year-old woman in a nursing home. The two females involved were working at the home when they decided to film themselves on a cell phone while slapping an old lady. They thought it was funny.

teenage-caregivers-mugshotsSo, what happened to the scumbag-etts? They were fired, thankfully. And, OH!…they lost their cell phones. Jail? Naaah! I guess somebody figured losing the ability to share their animalistic joys via Snapchat was punishment enough.

I think they should be tied up and released to a room full of grannies with hickory switches.

Protesting Preacher

Yes, it’s a sad day for the Phelps family, but the families of fallen soldiers whose funerals have been protested can rest a little easier. Oh, I’m sure the good folks from Westboro Baptist will one day be back out in force with all their colorful, creatively-worded signs detailing why people have died, but for now they must concentrate on picketing at home.

Fred_Phelps_10-29-2002There are many who have decided to rejoice at the death of Fred Phelps, Sr. Others have chosen the high road and have called for all of us to rally around the Phelps family and pray. I am somewhere in the middle.

My desire is that all people come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ, thereby having their sins forgiven, avoiding the terrors of eternal damnation. But on the other hand, I’m glad Mr. Phelps is finally getting to hear firsthand from the God he so hatefully represented.

After all the funerals Westboro Baptist and Phelps protested, I wonder if anyone is guarding his? Sad, I must say.



Filed under Chili, current events, General Observations

Date Night

I have been thinking about what to write.

The most obvious topic on which I would like to spend some time is the utter stupidity of the whole gay marriage thing, especially the ironic symbol of the rainbow. On the other hand, if I were to dwell on that topic for very long, given how long of a day it has been, I might puke. Unfortunately, if I did throw up, it would not come close to a regurgitation of all the vile that has been hurled at Christians over the last 48 hours.

So, for now I am going to avoid dealing with the Supreme Court’s insanity. I will save that for another day. Instead, let’s talk about movies.

Walking Out

It has been several years since I last walked out of a movie in a theater. The last time was when I demanded my money back (and got it) after I was duped into watching Happy Feet – an anti-human propaganda piece. This time it was a movie called The Big Wedding. I don’t feel that it is necessary for me to go into detail and provide you with an expert commentary. All you need to know is that what I endured of it was completely immoral and was void of any redeeming qualities. Enough said.

You see, my wife and I had the rare privilege of being alone, so we decided to go to a movie together. It’s not like we could afford it, but we needed the time with each other. Valerie just said, “I have watched a lot of other kinds of movies with you, so now it’s time to see a ‘chick flick’ with me.”

Well, anyway, it actually felt refreshing to simply get up out our seats, turn our backs to the screen, and walk out. We said “NO” to the trash that was being thrown at us, particularly the anti-Christian, anti-virginity, and anti-marriage messages. It actually felt spiritually empowering.

Caloric Refund

Hot Dogs and a Banana Split

Hot Dogs and a Banana Split to Share

After we got our money back (which, incidentally, was suggested by the manager who hated the movie, too), my wife and I decided to go to Kay’s Kastle in Soddy-Daisy (just north of Chattanooga). They have great ice cream and some unique hot dogs – and they’re cheap.

So, our date went from being disgusted with movie garbage, to filling our faces with caloric garbage. The food may have clogged an artery, but at least it didn’t sear our consciences.

Heart damage is easier to deal with than soul damage.


Filed under Chili, current events, Food

Softball, Food, and Wisdom

Is it Better?

In my last post I made reference to being at a ball park. For a parent of athletic children, that is the place to be on a summer day, morning, afternoon, mid-afternoon, late afternoon, evening, late evening, nighttime, and too-stinking-late-to be-up-on-a-weekend night, especially when this pastor has to preach Sunday morning. Softball tournaments are nothing but a racket. They keep you all day at a ball park so you can buy unhealthy, gut-murdering food…

But it’s goooood..

This is my question…why is it that hot dogs and nachos are better when bought and eaten at a ball park? Surely I am not the only one who feels this way. No cheap hot dog made at home really compares with the ones you spend too much money on and come cradled in cardboard. Nachos with chili and jalapeños can never taste the same made in a clean, sanitary home kitchen. These foods need volunteer workers, weekend kitchens, dust from a field, and sweat in the air to be gourmet.

Nothing Spiritual?

Is there a spiritual lesson here? There has to be one! I am The Recovering Legalist…there has to be a point to this story, right? Maybe there is.

Matthew 15:11, 20 KJV – [11] Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. … [20] These are [the things] which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.

James 3:6 KJV – [6] And the tongue [is] a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

Just after I took the above picture, some coaches and parents on the other team got angry with a call that the umpire made. Shortly after that, another call was made that made one coach curse the umpire. With justifiable indignation, the umpire ordered the coach to either leave the ball park in 30 seconds, or forfeit the game for their team. He left.

It just made me think about the food I was eating and the environment in which it was made. My health could recover from the food, but a poor testimony could take a lifetime to heal.

Oh, and one less person at the park means one less person eating all the hot dogs…

Anybody got some hand sanitizer? Preferably without sparkles?


Filed under Chili, Food, General Observations, Relationships and Family

Making Winter Warm with Chili

I swear, I start a blog about living a life free (as much as possible) from paralyzing legalism, and now I might as well start a food critic/cooking show!  What is happening to me?  Before long, I will preaching about pepperoni, sermonizing about sirloin, or pontificating over pot roast.  I need to go hunting for furry animals, or something….anything to get my masculinity back.

Oh, but wait! There is one thing I can do – MAKE CHILI!

With winter officially around the corner, but in all practicality now freezing our tails off, I felt the need to make a pot of chili. There are some things that a man should be able to make on a stove top that aren’t stuffing, cream of wheat, or pudding.  A real man needs to know how to craft a pot of chili that can keep you alive in an ice storm. Real chili, mind you; not the watery beef-and-tomato chili-flavored soup that some try to pass off to unsuspecting desperadoes. So, if you want to make a respectable version of my chili, feel honored to have, for the first time ever, my recipe. Please try to send all thanks in the form of monetary contributions.

Brown two pounds of ground beef in an iron skillet, or preferably an iron kettle (good stuff, not the lean, cardboard type). While it is browning, add a little Worshtishire sauce and a little chopped onion, if you desire.

Brown one pound of boneless pork chops in extra virgin olive oil.  When done, slice and dice into little cubes of pork chop joy.

(Optional – fry some bacon and chop it up into fine bits and add that, along with a tad of the grease)

When all the meat is done, start adding two (2) 15oz cans of tomato sauce, along with three (3) cans of Luck’s pinto beans. If you like kidney beans, and you are weird, then replace the pinto beans according to your lousy taste.

Add one cup of strong, black coffee.  Yep, I said coffee.

Now, start adding all of the spices.

  • 2 tablespoons Chili Powder (or maybe three)
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Sage
  • 1 teaspoon Crushed Rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons Paparika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 4 teaspoons Ground Roasted Cumin (powder)
  • 1 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper (more or less to taste, depending on whether or not you like your tongue)
  • 1-1 1/2 teaspoons of salt (don’t use sea salt, because that is just, well, not manly)
  • 1/4 teaspoon (maybe a tad more) of Liquid Smoke.
  • 1 tablespoon Oregeno

Being that I had to use what I had, and not everything I actually wanted (pastors cant always afford a fully-stocked fridge or spice cabinet), I didn’t have any onions, so I used a little onion salt.  Keep in mind when you do that, you have to adjust the actual salt in the recipe.  Also, I did not have any fresh garlic, which is why I used garlic powder, instead of 3-4 cloves (put through a garlic press). Ideally, I like to saute the onions and garlic together in an iron skillet, then add them to the beef and pork.

A final ingredient that really makes chili stand out, if you want something different, is about a half ounce of Lime Juice.

Well, there you have it.  Just bring this collection of real chili ingredients to a boil, then let it simmer for a couple of hours on low heat. Have some to eat at that point, but the best will be after you let it sit overnight in the refrigerator.



Filed under Chili, Christian Living, Food, General Observations, legalism, Uncategorized