For many mid-westerners there’s something about the fall’s cooler weather that has us hankering for a bowl of chili, and the heartier and meatier the better. Add family, friends and a campfire to the mix and you have the perfect combination for dinner on your next float trip. Maybe we aren’t so different than black bears and other animals that feel the need to eat and sleep more once the cold weather hits. But one thing’s for sure, a hot bowl of chili on your next fall float trip is sure to satisfy hunger and warm the heart.
Sure you could buy a can of chili at the store but it’ll be loaded with sodium and preservatives. And who wants that when you could enjoy the same chili mom makes with your friends or family around the campfire? All it takes is some pre-planning and preparation before you go.
One of the great things about chili is how easy it is to alter the spiciness even after it’s been cooked. Simply bring along a few small bottles of hot sauces or a small spice container of cayenne pepper and you have all the fixings to meet the individual tastes of your fellow campers. Another benefit to serving chili on your next float trip is the variety of ways you can serve it. You can add spaghetti or macaroni noodles for chili mac. For a cheesier version of chili mac, add some cooked Kraft macaroni and cheese to your chili. And for extremely hungry campers, chili dogs hit the spot.
If you do plan to have chili on your next float trip, you’ll want to prepare your chili at home. Store it in an airtight container in a cooler in your car until you’re ready to warm it up on a camping stove or in an iron pot or Dutch oven on the campfire.
While some campers prefer their family’s chili recipe, you may have not yet determined the chili you like best. For those of you open to trying a new chili recipe, the following is sure to satisfy your taste buds and hunger on your next float trip.
In a skillet, melt 1 TBSP butter or margarine. Dice an onion and sauté in the melted butter in your skillet until brown. Next add 1 pound ground beef and cook on medium heat until browned. Spray inside of crock pot and then combine the cooked meat, onion; 32 oz. can chopped tomatoes, 32 oz. can Brook’s Chili Hot Beans, 1 tsp. chili powder, ½ tsp. salt and ½ tsp. pepper. Set crock pot to low and cook several hours. You can increase the spiciness of this recipe by adding more black pepper or hot sauce. If you prefer less spicy chili, use the Brook’s Chili Mild Beans instead and not as much black pepper.
If you like to add condiments like shredded cheese, sour cream, Saltine crackers or soup crackers to your bowl of chili, be sure to pack these items in Ziploc sandwich bags ahead of time. This makes it much easier to add to your chili if you’re sitting around the campfire and creates less mess and clean up later.